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Industry News

Around the Circuit

August 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

INDUSTRY NEWS

Defense contractor General Dynamics Corp. , Falls Church, VA, has signed an agreement valued at $1.05 B to acquire three defense electronics units of GTE Corp. 's government systems organization. The operations are considered prime assets in the defense markets as the industry continues its consolidation of second-tier suppliers.

Narda Microwave-East , a division of L-3 Communications , has acquired DBS Microwave , El Dorado Hills, CA, a designer and manufacturer of amplifier and amplifier-based products in the microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies.

SUSS MicroTec AG , the holding company of Karl Suss , has purchased key assets of Fairchild Technology's Semiconductor Equipment Group (SEG) . With the purchase of the Falcon and series 2000/6000 coating systems, SUSS has won new strategic areas of the microelectronics market and will integrate SEG systems into its existing product line starting in 2000. In related news, Samsung Electro Mechanics Co. Ltd . has placed orders with Karl Suss for a complete SABER line system. The production-oriented tool set comprises a SUSS MA/BA6-BSA mask aligner as well as a bond aligner and will be installed by Samsung at its operations in Suwon, Korea for use in producing advanced microelectrical-mechanical system devices for the automotive and consumer markets.

Defense electronics firm Condor Systems Inc. , San Jose, CA, has purchased The Boeing Company 's ARGOSystems electronic warfare product line. The aquisition, completed on June 23, included the sale of the trade name ARGOSystems. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Texas Instruments Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase ATL Research A/S , a Denmark-based independent research and development company specializing in RF engineering for cellular communications, to enhance the company's expertise in next-generation wireless communications applications. The transaction was expected to close by the end June; financial terms were not disclosed.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. , Hillsboro, OR, and RF Solutions LLC , Atlanta, GA, have jointly agreed to utilize RF Solutions' third-party RFIC design services in conjunction with TriQuint's GaAs IC foundry services. The agreement is intended to provide customers with turnkey GaAs RFIC services and an RF design presence in the southeastern US.

Yokohama Denshi Seiko Co. Ltd. (YDS) of Japan has entered into an agreement with precision chip device manufacturer Barry Industries Inc. , Attleboro, MA, to serve as its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for thin-film products. The alliance is intended to allow Barry Industries to expand its thick-film product capabilities into the thin-film arena and, in turn, enable YDS to expand its product line into the thick-film market in Japan.

Singapore-based Achieva Components Pte. Ltd. has entered into an agreement with microprocessor crystal and clock oscillator supplier Ecliptek Corp. , Costa Mesa, CA, to be the first distributor of the company's quartz frequency control devices in Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Technology and engineering solution provider Radian International , a Dames & Moore Group company, has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Office of Air Traffic Systems Development located at New Jersey's Atlantic City International Airport to develop a team that will exchange information, research and user feedback among the FAA and commercial sectors in regard to meterological measurement and sensing equipment and, ultimately, develop aviation weather products to enhance air safety and efficiency. The CRADA is expected to be active for at least three years, but may be extended as projects develop and the two parties agree on further research applications.

California Micro Devices (CAMD) and Flip Chip Technologies (FCT) LLC have entered into a nonexclusive license agreement that provides CAMD with access to FCT's Ultra CSP™ manufacturing technology. The agreement is intended to enhance CAMD's line of integrated passive devices in chip scale packages and strengthen FCT's leadership position in the growing wafer-level packaging industry.

Lumped and distributed filter technology manufacturer Bree Engineering has opened a new 3000-square-foot facility located at 1269 Linda Vista, San Marcos, CA 92069 (760) 510-4950, fax (760) 510-4959.

ATN Microwave Inc. has moved to a custom-built 23,000-square-foot facility located at 101 Billerica Ave., Bldg. 4, North Billerica, MA 01862 (877) 286-8665, (978) 667-4200, fax (978) 667-8548.

In response to a growing demand by European customers for easier access to engineering support in the development of new space programs, Honeywell Space Systems will open an office in conjunction with its Space & Aviation Control Support Center at 1 Rue Marcel Doret BP 14, 31701 Blagnac, France, a suburb of Toulouse. This location will be the fourth for the company, which manufactures control products and systems for satellites and launch vehicles in the commercial, military and human space markets.

Advanced Semiconductor Inc. (ASI) , North Hollywood, CA, will immediately begin supplying microwave and RF semiconductors, which have been discontinued by Motorola . ASI will ship the parts from inventory or manufacture replacements to order to continue the supply for critical applications.

National Technical Systems (NTS) , Fullerton, CA, has established the only full-service compliance testing capability for NEBS/GR telecommunications standards in the western US. The complete test package, which covers Bellcore GR-63, -1089 and -487 standards and all other collateral testing required by the rapidly growing West Coast telecommunications industry, is expected to reduce the customer's engineering liaison time and expense, allow for team monitoring of test programs and eliminate shipping charges and other costs associated with having equipment tested in eastern US laboratories.

Calibration laboratory Liberty Labs Inc. , Kimballton, IA, has constructed what is believed to be the world's largest ground test plane for conducting antenna calibrations. The antenna bed cost $500 K and measures 50 x 80 meters. The new ground test plane, along with tightened test procedures and better instrumentation, has allowed the company to improve measurement uncertainty related to the ground plane to values of 0.2 dB or less over the frequency range of 30 to 100 MHz.

Western Technologies Inc. , Beaverton, OR, and Clare Micronix Integrated Systems Inc. , Aliso Viejo, CA, have signed an agreement to develop a proprietary ASIC that is installed into, and becomes part of, the miniature electronics Ear/Micro Phone,™ a new technology that will eliminate the telephone's mouthpiece. The Ear/Micro Phone is designed to be used inside the ear and operates as an earphone and microphone. It functions as a transducer whereby a small air column of sound (the user's voice) is induced upon the transducer, producing electric signals that are directed to a propriety ASIC and ultimately connected to a cellular or cordless telephone.

SaRonix , Menlo Park, CA, has entered into an agreement with merchant market distributor Sterling Electronics , El Monte, CA, to offer its full line of frequency control products, deliverable in five days, to a broad spectrum of customers in the telecommunications, wireless process control automation, computer peripheral, and medical and industrial markets.

Powell Electronics Inc. , Philadelphia, PA, has entered into an agreement with RF Industries Ltd. 's Connectors Division , San Diego, CA, to distribute its full line of coaxial and cable products.

Pacific Wireless Manufacturing Inc. , Aptos, CA, has named Richardson Electronics Ltd. an authorized distributor of the company's C230X series 2.4 GHz GaAs MMIC and PMANT series 2.4 GHz parabolic grid antenna products.

Hittite Microwave Corp. (HMC) , Woburn, MA, and United Monolithic Semiconductor (UMS) , Orsay, France, have signed an agreement where HMC will utilize UMS MMIC die for its surface-mount ball-grid array packaged millimeter-wave MMIC product line. The new products will address point-to-point/multipoint, local multipoint distribution system (LMDS), very small aperture terminal/USAT and low earth orbit/medium earth orbit satellite telecommunications applications and complement both companies' current MMIC standard product offerings.

Test and measurement equipment provider Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) , Palo Alto, CA, and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) manufacturer Alcatel have announced the joint development of a fast, efficient, high volume and cost-effective manufacturing test solution for Alcatel's ADSL 1000 modem product line based on the HP 79000 functional test platform. The system offers a complete functional and parametric test solution available to all ADSL modem manufacturers and is suited for ADSL-DMT and ADSL G.lite products. It provides a 400 Hz measurement resolution over a 2 MHz span, which results in full-power spectral density measurements in less than three seconds. In related news, HP's recently launched outreach program for potential Y2K-related failures has reportedly caught on with customers. Several companies have already heeded the company's offer to help develop Y2K preparedness and contingency plans. Test customers are encouraged to contact HP directly or visit its Web site at www.hp.com/go/tm-year2000 to determine the Y2K status of their HP products.

Micro Substrates Corp. , Tempe, AZ, has licensed microelectronic device manufacturer HEI Inc. , Victoria, MN, to manufacture its VIA/BGA™ mm-wave ball-grid array packages used for local multipoint distribution system (LMDS), point-to-point radio, SATCOM and high speed telecommunications applications.

Circuit Assembly Corp. , Irvine, CA, has been issued a patent for its technology used in mass-terminating ribbon cable to a connector. The technology provides a method of assembly that compensates for tolerance mismatch between the connector housing, contacts and cable by forcing the cable conductors to accurately align with the interdigital transducer (IDT) slot of the contacts, lowering attrition rates during the IDT process.

Magellan Corp. , a satellite navigation and communications subsidiary of Orbital Sciences Corp. located in Santa Clara, CA, and integrated system supplier Magna International Inc. have announced the formation of Magna Works , a joint venture that will provide advanced vehicle navigation systems to the automotive industry. The new company, to be headquartered in the Detroit, MI area, will design and integrate custom, state-of-the-art vehicle navigation and information systems for OEMs of passenger and commercial vehicles in North America and Europe. In related news, Magellan and Australian automotive audio entertainment system supplier Eurovox Pty. Ltd. have jointly agreed to design, develop and manufacture advanced, satellite-aided, in-vehicle navigation systems for markets in Australia and New Zealand. Magellan will license its vehicle navigation technology to Eurovox. Under the terms of a separate technical support and services agreement, Eurovox will develop navigation equipment for OEMs and original equipment importers as well as consumer and commercial applications. Further details of the agreement were not released.

Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs®) has named five cable modem suppliers whose products have been certified for retail sale, including Askey Computer Corp. , Cisco Systems , Philips Electronics , Samsung Information Systems of America and Sony Corp . The certification informs consumers that the modem complies with CableLabs' cable modem specification. Five companies already have been recognized by CableLabs certification, including Toshiba, Thomson Consumer Electronics, 3Com, General Instrument and Arris Interactive.

Smart antenna system provider Metawave® Communications Corp. has opened offices in Taipei, Taiwan and Shanghai, China to support sales, service and manufacturing operation for its Spotlight® smart antenna systems. The announcement follows a technical cooperation agreement with the Shanghai Post & Telecommunications Administration and Shanghai New Globe Co. providing for the development of a smart antenna for GSM networks, the predominant technology in Asia.

The Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) will offer a new Microwave Measurement Student Fellowship to recognize and provide financial assistance to graduate students who wish to pursue research related to improvement of RF and microwave measurement techniques. One or more $7500 award may be granted each year based on available funding and the number of qualified applicants. The next deadline is October 1. For more information visit ARFTG's Web site at www.arftg.org/fellow.html or contact Jeffrey Jargon, NIST, 325 Broadway, M/S 813.01, Boulder, CO 80303 (303) 497-3596, fax (303) 497-3970 or e-mail: jargon@boulder.nist.gov.

Space Electronics Inc. , San Diego, CA, has announced the formation of a partnership with the Directorate of Testing and Technology, Radiation Tolerance Assured (RTA) and Support Center, White Sands, NM. The partnership is intended to form a bond between government and industry that addresses diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages (DMSMS) microelectronics problems by providing several services, including design, assembly, RTA certification, screening qualification, procurements and logistic support, and fenced storage of microelectronics for all military programs. Initial solutions for DMSMS microelectronics devices are currently in production at Space Electronics for the B-2 program and Abrams M1A2 SEP program.

Stanford Telecommunications Inc. 's wholly owned subsidiary, Stanford Wireless Broadband Inc. , has concluded the installation of the first full-featured wireless broadband access system in Madrid, Spain. Stanford's equipment has been successfully integrated into a state-of-the-art, high power broadband multicarrier LMDS system designed and integrated by TTT SL of Spain.

Semiconductor Packaging Materials Co. , a division of SEMX Corp. located in Armonk, NY, has achieved QS9000 certification for meeting the basic requirements of the ISO 9000 standard and satisfying the more rigorous specifications of the automotive industry.

Decibel Products , an Allen Telecom Inc. company, has been certified by Brazil's FINAME. The certification will permit Brazilian-based communications companies to use special government-subsidized financing and funding programs to purchase Decibel's line of wireless communications equipment. FINAME is the Brazilian Development Bank agency responsible for promoting the expansion, retrofitting and revamping of Brazilian plant facilities by providing long-term loans for the sale of domestic-made machinery and equipment.

Garwood Laboratories Inc. is celebrating its 45th year as a testing services provider. Established in 1954 to service the aerospace industry, the company has expanded into all industries offering climatics, dynamics, space simulation, EMC, hydraulics and pneumatics, product safety, and automotive and packaging testing.

California Eastern Laboratories (CEL) is celebrating its 40th anniversity. Founded in 1959, the company today represents NEC 's RF, wireless and optoelectronic semiconductor products exclusively. In related news, CEL and ATN Microwave , North Billerica, MA, have announced the installation of a noise parameter test system at the CEL headquarters in Santa Clara, CA. The system promises significant improvements in measurement speed and user interface and features two Wavevue™ software modules, which will form the basis for ATN's new NP5C noise parameter system.

Precision crystal, oscillator and filter producer International Crystal Manufacturing Co. Inc. , Oklahoma City, OK, reports that 95 percent of its manufactured products are deliverable on time or ahead of schedule due to enhanced computerized tracking and scheduling software.

FINANCIAL NEWS

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. reports sales of $10.5 M for the third quarter, ended April 30, compared to $8.7 M for the third quarter in 1998. Net income was $498 K (18¢/share), compared to $388 K (15¢/share) for the same period in 1998.

REMEC Inc. reports sales of $43.2 M for the first quarter, ended April 30, compared to $50.6 M for the first quarter in 1998. Net loss was $3.4 M (14¢/diluted share), compared to a net income of $2.3 M (9¢/diluted share) for the same period in 1998.

CoWare™ Inc. , a provider of system-level design tools for complex system-on-a-chip development, has raised $8 M during its second round of venture funding, which began in October 1996. The new financing, added to its first round completed in April 1997, brings the company's total funding to approximately $14 M. CoWare will use the new funding to continue expanding its operations domestically and globally, particularly in sales, marketing and product development.

Wireless communications filter product developer Superconductor Technologies Inc. , Santa Barbara, CA, has signed a working capital credit agreement with Venture Bank @ PNC, a division of PNC Bank, for a maximum of $2.5 M, which has replaced its previous credit line of $1.5 M.

CONTRACTS

Sprint PCS has signed a three-year contract with Nortel Networks for cdmaOne™ equipment and services for Phase III of Sprint PCS' nationwide wireless network development and expansion. Under the terms of the $520 M contract, Nortel will provide equipment and services that will enable Sprint PCS to expand coverage and increase network capacity to meet rapidly growing customer demand. The new contract represents the continuation of a successful relationship between the two companies in which Nortel has provided solutions for all three phases of Sprint's wireless network deployment.

Stanford Telecommunications Inc. , Sunnyvale, CA, has been awarded a five-year contract with a potential value of $100 M to provide critical services to facilitate meeting short- and long-term telecommunication requirements within the FAA. Stanford Telecom's Communication Systems Integration Group will provide engineering support to the FAA's operation of existing networks as well as aid in planning and supporting the implementation of network modernization to allow the FAA to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

In a move that will speed the maturity and commercial availability of its indium phosphide (InP) IC technology, TRW Inc. , Redondo Beach, CA, has entered into a 24-month contract valued at $600 K with the Australian government-owned Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to produce a set of InP chips designed by CSIRO. The circuits, which include low noise amplifier, mixer and high speed digital receiver chips, will be integrated into a variety of CSIRO radio astronomy and telecommunication demonstration systems.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc. , Metuchen, NJ, has been awarded a contract by Procelbras of Brazil to provide CDMA test transmitters and Rhino rubidium frequency sources to help with rapid build-out in Brazil's underground rail system. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

PERSONNEL

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) board of directors has elected Richard P. Ekstrand , president and CEO of Rural Cellular Corp. (RCC), to serve as secretary. Ekstrand has been with RCC since its inception in 1990.

Richard R. Rogers has been promoted to VP of Amplifier Research's (AR) AMREP division. Rogers has been with AR since 1993 and will continue to play an active role in the company's marketing communications program as marketing manager.

Peter Spaulding has been appointed VP and general manager at Boldt Metronics International's business unit. Spaulding brings to the company more than 30 years of experience in multinational, multiplant manufacturing environments at such companies as General Electric, TRW Globe Motors and, most recently, Wilton Tool Group. He is also the founder of HEI Inc.

Narda Micro-wave-East has promoted Michael J. Sanator to VP, operations and Robert A. Koelzer to VP, engineering. Sanator has been with the company since 1997 as director of operations; Koelzer joined the company in 1985 as product line manager for passive products.

CTS Corp. has named Douglas Rasmussen VP and general manager of its frequency products operations. Rasmussen has extensive electronic components industry experience and, most recently, served as VP and general manager at Honeywell Optoelectronics.

Integrated RF power product manufacturer Xemod Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, has appointed Michael Foster VP, sales and James Harter VP, operations. Foster brings to the company more than 20 years of technology sales experience and, most recently, served as VP, sales and marketing at P-Com Inc.; Harter has more than 25 years of experience in leading manufacturing and operations efforts in several industries and, most recently, served as VP, operations for terrestrial satellite equipment manufacturer EFData Corp.

RIFOCS Corp. has promoted Richard Buerli , formerly director of engineering, to VP, engineering.

Lew Backer has joined Storm Prod-ucts' Advanced Technology Group as western regional sales manager for the Microwave Business Unit. Backer has more than 15 years of cable, connector and microwave cable assembly experience and, most recently, was director of marketing and sales for AMP's Precision Cable Division. In addition, Colin Scrimgeour has joined the company as quality assurance manager. Most recently, Scrimgeour was quality manager for Telecommunication Devices.

Michael W. Murphy has been appointed director, customer support for Microwave Instrumentation Technologies LLC. Murphy joins the company after 22 years of service with Rockwell International Corp. and The Boeing Company.

Trompeter Elec-tronics Inc. has named Lyn Bresnen new business development manager. Bresnen brings to the company 20 years of experience in technical sales and marketing and has held positions at Johnson Components and Amphenol Corp. In addition, Gayland Fisher has joined the company as regional sales manager. Fisher has 25 years of exper-ience in sales, marketing and engineering and, most recently, served as national distributor manager at Power-One.

Texas A&M University engineering professors Kyle T. Alfriend and B. Don Russell have been named to the National Academy of Engineering. Alfriend heads the aerospace engineering department and Russell is associate vice chancellor for engineering. Academy election is among the highest professional honor for engineers.

Uniphase Corp. has appointed David A. Wilson director of administration for its Broadband Products division. Previously, Wilson was director of finance and accounting for Harris Corp.'s Electronic Systems Sector.

SaRonix has named Jacques Dorian northeast regional sales manager. Before joining the company, Dorian owned a manufacturing representative firm and sold crystals and oscillators.

NEW MARKET ENTRY

Aethercomm is a new company specializing in the design and manufacture of RF, microwave and millimeter-wave components and systems for commercial wireless, defense and satellite communications. It is located at 1008 Cima Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069 (760) 471-9117, fax (760) 471-7832 or e-mail wtthornton@mindspring.com.

WEB SITE

MAXRAD Inc. , Hanover Park, IL, has designed a Web page dedicated exclusively to the promotion of the company's industrial, scientific and mechanical band wireless data antennas. The site, located at www.maxrad.com/wirelessdata, provides browsers with a color photograph of each wireless data antenna category, detailed specification sheets, relevant press releases, price quotes and additional information about specific antennas.

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