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Industry News

Around the Circuit

May 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

David L. Sprague, a long-time contributor to the microwave industry in both management and editorial capacities, died March 20 following a tragic accident at his home in Agoura, CA. He was 51.

Prior to forming Chaparral Labs in 1997, Sprague was VP of Microwave dB Inc. (formerly Amplica, MDM and Delphi Components). He also was president and CEO of InMark Corp. for 11 years and worked at Systron-Donner, Emerson Electric and GenRad. From 1986 to 1990, he served as the West Coast editor of Microwave Journal and, in 1990, was named editor-in-chief of Microwave Systems News. In addition, Sprague recently taught sessions at the Wireless Symposium and Portable by Design Conference.

Sprague served in the US Navy Seals as a fire control technician aboard the submarine Kamehameha and received the Purple Heart during a Seal mission in Vietnam. He will be sorely missed by the microwave community.

The senior management team of Philips Technologies , Airpax Protector Group (previously a division of Philips Electronics North America Corp. ), has successfully completed a management buyout of the company in partnership with Industrial Growth Partners , a private investment firm that provides equity capital to private-sector, middle-market manufacturing companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The new Airpax Corp. LLC is based in Frederick, MD with two facilities in Cambridge, MD, a facility in Matamoros, Mexico and a joint venture in Japan with Sanken Electric Co. known as Sanken-Airpax Co. Currently, no layoffs are planned.

Northrop Grumman Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Information Systems Division of California Microwave Inc. The transaction is subject to standard governmental and regulatory reviews and was expected to close in April. Northrop Grumman had planned to pay $93 M in cash at closing and an additional amount of up to $5 M in 2000 if certain revenue goals are met. The acquisition is part of Northrop Grumman's strategy to focus its business activities and technologies on electronics, systems integration and information technology. Upon completion of the transaction, the business will be operated as the California Microwave element of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector based in Baltimore, MD. In related news, Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems and Aerostructures sector and Mandaree Enterprise Corp. have received the Nunn-Perry Award from the Department of Defense (DoD) for outstanding achievement in the DoD's Mentor-Protege program. As part of the program, prime contractors work with small, disadvantaged businesses to help them compete more successfully for defense contracts.

Specialty material manufacturer SEMX Corp. , Armonk, NY, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Semi-Alloys Co. , Mt. Vernon, NY. The sale is subject to several factors, including the execution of a definitive purchase agreement and the approval of SEMX's banks. The transaction is expected to close within the next several months. Financial terms were not disclosed. SEMX plans to combine its Semiconductor Packaging Materials (SPM) division with Semi-Alloys to form a strong, unified company. The new SPM/Semi-Alloys Corp. will offer products from both organizations to serve customers more effectively.

Electronic component distributor Richardson Electronics Ltd. has opened a new office in Mexico to better serve its customers who require electron tubes, RF/microwave and wireless components, medical imaging components, display products and CCTV equipment in the area. The office is located at Mariano Otero 1901, Primer piso interior 103-104, Fraccionamiento Resindencial Victoria, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico 011 523 123 0041/121 0969, fax 011 523 645 4641.

Passive flexible and rigid waveguide assembly and component manufacturer Continental Microwave & Tool Co. Inc. has moved to a newly constructed 90,000-square-foot facility that offers twice the capacity of its previous facility. The company's new address is 11 Continental Dr., Exeter, NH 03833.

RF design and technology developer GT Microwave Inc. has tripled the size of its manufacturing floor with a move to a new facility located at 2 Emery Ave., Randolph, NJ 07869.

Low noise microwave amplifier and subsystem manufacturer JCA Technology has relocated to a new 40,000-square-foot facility at 4000 Via Pescador, Camarillo, CA 93012. The move is intended to increase the company's already extensive manufacturing capabilities. All telephone/fax numbers and e-mail addresses remain unchanged.

ANADIGICS Inc. , Warren, NJ, has teamed with Ericsson to develop the new Ericsson I 888 GSM world telephone, which operates on 1900 MHz GSM in the Americas and 900 MHz GSM in Europe. An ANADIGICS custom-designed, dual-band power amplifier supports the telephone with a single-package design that reportedly increases functionality while reducing board space, manufacturing and design time, and cost. Utilizing the telephone, global travelers can make and receive calls, check e-mail, send and receive faxes, browse the Internet and log on to corporate networks using the built-in infrared modem. The telephone offers menus in 24 languages and features caller identification, call forwarding and conference calling with up to six people. In related news, ANADIGICS has been awarded US patent no. 5,774,017 for a single-chain multiple-band amplifier. The amplifier provides dual-band operation using a switching impedance network and can be used for Advanced Mobile Telephone System 800 or GSM 900 operation as well as any other cellular operation (such as PCS 1900).

Andrew Corp. has signed an agreement with Divine Tower International Corp. (DTIC) under which DTIC will sell Andrew-supplied HELIAX® cable, connectors, accessories and elliptical waveguide; RADIAX® radiating cable; microwave, GridPak,® ValuLine,® base station, earth station and broadcast antennas; pressurization products; towers; and equipment shelters. The products will be deployed at DTIC's communications sites and provided to telecommunications companies in North America, Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Precision chip device and high power flange-mount attenuator, termination and resistor manufacturer Barry Industries Inc. , Attleboro, MA, has formed a strategic alliance with Yokohama Denshi Seiko Co. Ltd. (YDS) of Japan that allows Barry Industries to expand its thick-film product capabilities into the thin-film arena and YDS to expand its product line into Japan's thick-film market.

CDMA digital wireless technology developer QUALCOMM Inc. , San Diego, CA, has signed an agreement with Matsushita Electronic Components Co. Ltd. that contemplates a possible alliance for the development and manufacture of the new CRM3000™ CDMA radio modules. The highly compact pretested modules will contain complete RF circuitry for CDMA handsets and interface with QUALCOMM's MSM3000™ chip, enabling fast design and manufacture of CDMA subscriber products.

RF Monolithics Inc. (RFM) , Dallas, TX, has expanded its distribution agreement with Insight Electronics Inc. , San Diego, CA, to include South America. The original October 1998 agreement called for Insight Electronics to distribute RFM's low power components, virtual wire (short-range radio system), frequency control modules and filters throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. In related news, RFM has been certified to the ISO 9001 and QS 9000 quality system standards.

Sprague-Goodman Electronics Inc. , Westbury, NY, has appointed New Jersey-based Brothers Electronics Inc. a franchised distributor of its trimmer capacitor and specialty and surface-mount inductor lines.

The Tanner EDA division of Tanner Research Inc. , Pasadena, CA, has joined forces with Sandia National Laboratories , Albuquerque, NM, to provide a design kit for Sandia's module monolithic microelectromechanical system (MEMS) (M3S) fabrication process as part of its MEMS Pro CAE tool suite. The design kit reportedly lowers fabrication risks by enabling engineers to ensure that their designs conform to the specifications of the advanced M3S process. The design kit includes M3S process specification files, design rules, layer definitions, model parameters and other technology information. Pricing for the kit starts at $29,995.

TriQuint Semiconductor , Hillsboro, OR, and GHz Circuit Design Inc. , Newburyport, MA, have formed an agreement to utilize GHz Circuit Design's third-party RFIC design services in conjunction with TriQuint's GaAs IC foundry services. The agreement will provide customers with turnkey GaAs RFIC services as well as an RFIC design presence in New England. Customers who are contracting with TriQuint will gain access to and be supported by GHz Circuit Design's RFIC design team. TriQuint then will move the design into production and provide wafer manufacturing, die packaging and IC testing services.

Souderton, PA-based Amplifier Research has extended the warranty on all of its amplifiers, antennas, directional couplers and Arcell series precompliance test systems to three years. The company's interference generators and field monitors carry a two-year warranty, and its vacuum and traveling-wave tubes carry a one-year warranty.

Microwave rotary joint manufacturer Diamond Antenna & Microwave Corp. , Lowell, MA, has been named the exclusive supplier of Phoenix, AZ-based Roltran Inc. 's antenna Roll Ring assemblies. The assemblies utilize low frequency signals across rotating junctions, such as antenna pointing mechanisms, and provide an electrical interface with essentially no torque or contact wear debris, resulting in improved performance when compared to traditional slip rings. Currently, the assemblies are being used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to transfer electrical digital data and high power on each major rotational axis of the new International Space Station.

CTS Corp. 's microelectronic products manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, IN has been certified to the ISO 9001 quality system standard. The certification ensures that a quality management system is in place at the operation and is being utilized in the design and manufacture of microelectronic circuits that provide packaging solutions for customers in the communications and computer equipment, instruments and controls, and automotive markets.

Power transistor supplier GHz Technology Inc. 's design and manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, CA has received ISO 9001 certification.

Several of France-based Tekelec Temex 's operations have received ISO 14001 qualification, including its Pessac, Montreuil and Les Ulis manufacturing facilities.

Merrimac Industries Inc. , West Caldwell, NJ, has been awarded US patent no. 5,867,072 for its microwave double-balanced biphase modulator. The device incorporates a novel balun design to improve the overall performance of microwave mixers used in digital wireless voice and data communications systems.

Electronic component, board and subsystem developer Space Electronics Inc. , San Diego, CA, has been awarded a patent for its three-dimensional multichip module microelectronics for space.

FINANCIAL NEWS

REMEC Inc. reports sales of $158.4 M for the year, ended January 31, compared to $156.1 M last year. Net income was $10.3 M (44¢/diluted share). Sales for the fourth quarter were $37.9 M, compared to $44.2 M for the fourth quarter last year.

SEMX Corp. reports sales of $47.5 M for the year, ended December 31, 1998, compared to $48 M in 1997. Net loss was $12 M ($1.98/diluted share). Sales for the fourth quarter were $10.5 M, compared to $14.4 M for the same period in 1997. The company attributes these losses to a slump in its heat dissipation materials business.

Northrop Grumman Corp. has adjusted its 1998 financial results due to a $30 M impairment write-off of an investment related to Kistler Aerospace Corp.'s K-1 reusable space launch vehicle system. The write-off was deemed necessary due to the current uncertainty of Kistler Aerospace's financing. Net income for 1998 has been reduced by $20 M (28¢/share) after tax. Net sales, operating margin and cash were not affected.

Philsar Electronics has completed a $10.25 M equity investment round raised from venture capital and corporate investors in the US, Canada and Japan. The investment was provided by Working Ventures Canadian Fund of Toronto, Canada; Intel Corp., JAFCO America Venture Inc. of Palo Alto, CA; Lucent Venture Partners, a subsidiary of Lucent Technologies located in Murray Hill, NJ; Omron Corp. of Kyoto, Japan; and Prism Venture Partners of Westwood, MA. The investment will be used to bring Philsar's next-generation products to market and expand the company's sales, marketing, engineering and manufacturing teams.

RF Micro Devices Inc. 's board of directors has approved a two-for-one stock split that will be effected as a 100 percent stock dividend. Shareholders of record on March 17 were scheduled to be issued a certificate representing one additional share of common stock for each share of common stock held. The additional shares were scheduled to be mailed on or about March 31.

CONTRACTS

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Oceanic and Naval Systems unit, Annapolis, MD, has been awarded a $15.4 M contract from Alenia Marconi Systems, Frimley, Surrey, UK, to design, manufacture and test the detection, classification, localization and threat evaluation subsystem for the Submarine Acoustic Warfare Control System (SAWCS), the UK's next-generation torpedo defense system. Work on the subsystems will be performed at the Oceanic and Naval Systems facility. Northrop Grumman will begin delivering the subsystems to Alenia Marconi Systems in 2001 for integration into SAWCS. Ultimately, SAWCS will be installed aboard royal navy submarines.

Microwave Power Device Inc. , Hauppauge, NY, has been awarded a $7 M contract from a major domestic wireless telecommunications original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to supply highly linear, single-channel PCS/CDMA amplifiers. The units will be installed into a base station that has a much smaller footprint than typical base stations while providing for a transition to the next generation of wireless services. Deliveries on the contract have begun already; multiyear shipments are expected.

Signal Technology Corp. , Danvers, MA, has received a $6 M contract from Microwave Electronic Systems Inc., Ankara, Turkey, to design, develop and supply production high voltage power supplies for the SPEWS II radar warning and jamming system. The contract includes an option that, if exercised, would bring the total value of the program to $8.2 M. SPEWS II is an improved version of the radar warning and jamming system used on Turkish-manufactured F-16s. Work on the contract will be performed by Signal Technology's Keltec Division in Fort Walton Beach, FL. In related news, Signal Technology's Arizona Space Center has successfully completed the design and delivery of flight units for the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) that was selected for the next primary mission in NASA's Small Explorer series of space science missions. The HESSI mission will utilize a sun-pointed, spin-stabilized spacecraft to investigate the physics of particle acceleration and energy release in solar flares. X-ray and gamma-ray emissions will be observed with a combination of high resolution imaging and spectroscopy.

RF and microwave MMIC product manufacturer Hittite Microwave Corp. , Woburn, MA, has received a low rate initial production (LRIP) order from Boeing calling for IF receiver processors for Patriot Advanced Capability seekers. The contract's total value for LRIP and production facilitization is $2.3 M.

Aydin Telemetry , a division of Aydin Corp. located in Newtown, PA, has been selected as a subcontractor by Boeing to provide test instrumentation for the Delta IV/Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program. The program represents a multiyear US Air Force effort aimed at reducing space launch costs by more than 25 percent. Aydin Telemetry will manufacture and deliver the equipment for use in vehicle integration and launch monitoring at both Kennedy Space Center, FL and Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. Delivery on the contract is expected to begin in June and extend through the first quarter of 2000.

PERSONNEL

AML Commnications Inc. has appointed Kirk A. Waldron president and CEO to succeed Jacob Inbar who will continue to serve as chairman of the board. Waldron joined AML in 1996 as CFO and COO. In addition, Scott T. Behan has been appointed executive VP, sales and marketing. Behan joined the company in 1987 and was most recently VP, business development.

Ulf Berg has been named president of Ericsson Microwave Systems AB. Berg joined the company in 1975 and has worked in various positions in the defense and space electronics areas. Most recently, he was VP of Saab Ericsson Space.

NurLogic Design Inc. has appointed David Matty president and CEO to replace Mike Brunolli who has become the company's CTO. Prior to joining the company, Matty was executive director of mixed-signal components at Conexant Systems. In addition, the company has named Mehran Shahmiri VP, worldwide sales. Shahmiri's experience includes 10 years at Cadence Design Systems Inc. where he was responsible for establishing several sales campaigns.

Edward Garcia has been named president and CEO of Noise Com. Garcia has served in several capacities at the company, including as chief engineer, COO and executive VP.

UK-based Filtronic plc has appointed Thomas W. Parker managing director of US operations. Parker's previous position as president of Filtronic Solid State (formerly the Solid State Division of Litton Industries) has been filled by James L. Vorhaus . Vorhaus has held several positions at the company, in-cluding VP of engineering and VP/GM of component and semiconductor products.

James V. DiLorenzo has been appointed president of Signal Technology Corp. to replace George Lombard who will remain chairman of the board and CEO. DiLorenzo brings to the company more than 25 years of senior management experience in the electronics industry. Most recently, he was GM of Raytheon Microelectronics, a division of Raytheon Electronics.

Microwave Power Devices Inc. has named Paul E. Donofrio VP and COO. Donofrio will continue to serve as CFO of the company, a position he has held since 1991.

Dave Emma has joined Sawgrass Electronics Group as senior VP of sales responsible for the company's Micro Networks, Andersen Labs and Creative Electric products. Previously, Emma was VP, corporate marketing at C.P. Clare Corp.

CPI Satcom Division has promoted Gerard Charpentier to VP, business development. Most recently, Charpentier was international sales manager at the company.

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s board of directors has elected John H. Mullan corporate VP and secretary to serve as the liaison with the board and shareholders, coordinate the preparation of documents to satisfy the legal requirements of the corporation as a public company and maintain the company's official records. He will also remain active in the areas of corporate finance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Previously, Mullan was a senior corporate counsel at the company.

Tru-Connector Corp. has announced the retirement of Robert F. Hoff , VP, sales and engineering, after 40 years with the company. Hoff will be succeeded by Douglas E. Snader who has 20 years of experience in the microwave industry and has been sales manager at Tru-Connector for the past three years.

Dale Sydnor has been named VP and GM of Telecom Analysis Systems Inc.'s (TAS) new product development and support facility. Sydnor joined TAS as a result of the acquisition of the wireless and satellite communications business from Noise Com in March.

Jay Boyd has been appointed VP, sales and marketing at MicroJoin Inc., a subsidiary of Palomar Technologies Inc. Boyd has held a variety of positions during his 18-year high tech career, including director of marketing at Unitek Miyachi Corp., marketing manager at Autosplice Inc. and several sales and marketing positions at OK Industries Inc.

Kurtis L. Kurisu has been named regional manager, western sales at Microwave Instrumentation Technologies LLC. Kurisu joins the company from Scientific-Atlanta Inc. where he served as an executive account manager for the Electronic Systems Division since 1988.

Richard Pender has joined GHz Technology Inc. in the dual role of eastern regional sales manager and product marketing manager for the company's avionics and radar market segments. Previously, Pender held senior marketing and sales positions at Celeritek, Mitsubishi and California Eastern Labs.

Gabriel Electronics Inc. has appointed Bud Bayer western region sales manager responsible for OEM house accounts on the West Coast and in Colorado, Utah, eastern Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Formerly, Bayer was a western regional sales engineer at Digital Microwave Corp.

NEC America Inc.'s Microwave Radio Department has appointed Bruce Blain account manager for the eastern US responsible for managing the sale of the company's microwave radio products and services. Previously, Blain was regional sales manager at World Access Inc.'s ATI Wireless Division.

NEWMAR has named Jeff Wright associate sales manager. Wright brings to the company several years of experience as a manufacturer's representative in the marine and sporting goods industries.

James McKeown has been promoted to director of marketing at Quantum Epitaxial Designs Inc. responsible for marketing communications and research, competitive intelligence and strategic planning. Formerly, McKeown was business development manager at the company responsible for marketing and field sales activities in the eastern US and Asia.

NII Norsat International Inc. has named Michael D. Rogers international marketing manager, microwave products. Rogers has been in the satellite industry since 1984, and most recently was marketing manager at Nichimen America's Satellite Division.

Richard H. Wolff, Jr. has joined Radiall Inc., North American Headquarters as product marketing manager responsible for the sale of the company's microwave components and RF products in North America. Wolff brings to the company more than 18 years of experience in the RF passive component and connector industry, including positions at Amphenol RF, Sealectro, M/A-COM and Molex's RF products division.

ATN Microwave Inc. has announced two personnel appointments, including Brian Davis as senior digital engineer to assist in moving the company's current and future automatic test equipment products across the analog-to-digital frontier and Massimo M. Pellegrini as senior design engineer to assist in expanding the company's new component product line. Davis comes to the company with more than 12 years of digital experience as principal engineer at both Sanders Associates and Stanford Telecom, Microwave Systems Division where he developed a number of state-of-the-art products. Pellegrini brings to ATN Microwave more than 10 years of experience in the design and manufacture of high power, highly integrated control devices.

Ravinder Gill has been named staff engineer in the ferrite circulator/isolator department to further expand the company's product line to include drop-in circulators and isolators. Gill brings to the position several years of experience designing drop-in ferrite circulators and isolators.

REP APPOINTMENTS

Hittite Microwave Corp. , Woburn, MA, has appointed Orbis OY to represent its line of RF and microwave MMIC products in Finland.

Microwave Development Company Inc. , Salem, NH, has appointed two companies to represent its full line of products: Tekmar Sales , Rye Brook, NY, for coverage in the metropolitan New York and northern New Jersey areas, and Youngewirth & Olenick Associates , Phoenix, AZ, for coverage in Arizona and New Mexico.

MVS-Microwave & Video Systems Inc. , Danbury, CT, has appointed several companies to represent its products, including Cain-Pollock for coverage in Colorado and Utah; M. Lader Co. for coverage in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee; and Riley Sales and Marketing , for coverage in New England. The company is also seeking additional representation in foreign and domestic markets.

NEW MARKET ENTRY

SpectraChip LLC is a new company formed by Peter Thompson to provide scribe-and-break wafer dicing services in the semiconductor market. The company offers services to the GaAs industry and other fragile device markets that require high performance dicing, including microelectromechanical sensors, photo diodes and detectors, glass substrates and VCSELS. SpectraChip utilizes a diamond scribe-and-break process, which fractures the substrate along a crystal plane with no loss of die. Various services offered by the company include small prototype and larger production runs, product reviews to ensure the wafer design is optimized for scribe-and-break processing, and process development. In addition, SpectraChip offers Gel-Pak trays and films for packaging the devices and wafer scribing and dicing supplies, including saws, adhesive films, hoops and bulk GaAs wafers. The new company is located at 320 Tesconi Circle, Suite N, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (707) 542-3486, fax (707) 542-3485. SpectraChip's Web site can be accessed at www.spectrachip.com.

WEB SITES

Precision time and frequency instrumentation designer Frequency Electronics Inc. , Montville, NJ, has designed a new Web site to feature information on its full line of products, including rubidium frequency standards, crystal oscillators, distribution products and DC/DC converters for use in commercial, military and space markets. The site, located at www.freqelec.com, also offers a history of the company, a listing of employment opportunities and financial information.

Trompeter Electronics Inc. , Westlake Village, CA, has updated its Web site to include electronic commerce capabilities such as on-line quotations and direct order placement. The site, located at www.trompeter.com, also provides information on the company's RF coaxial, triaxial and twinaxial interconnect products; cross connects; patch panels; cable assemblies; and related tools, including photographs, specifications and pricing.

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