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Industry News

Around the Circuit

October 1, 1999
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Around the Circuit

Industry News

Watkins-Johnson Co. , Palo Alto, CA, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Telecommunications Group business to Marconi North America , a subsidiary of The General Electric Co. plc of the UK. The pre-adjusted purchase price of $57.9 M, based upon a balance sheet, will be adjusted to the balance sheet at the date of closing, and the final transaction is subject to the approval of Watkins-Johnson shareholders.

Noise Com's Wireless Telecom Group Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to merge Boonton Electronics Corp. into a wholly owned subsidiary. Under the terms of the agreement, each share of Boonton common stock will be converted into 1.4 shares of Noise Com common stock and an amount of cash equal to 0.175 times the closing price of Noise Com common stock on the closing date. The transaction, which is expected to be completed before December 31, is valued at approximately $7 M and subject to Boonton shareholder approval as well as other customary requirements.

Mitec Telecom Inc. has moved its operations to a state-of-the-art, 88,000-square-foot manufacturing facility geared for very large volume production. The new facility is located at 9000 Trans-Canada Highway, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada H9R 5Z8 (514) 694-9000, fax (514) 694-3814.

MMIC and MMIC assembly designer and manufacturer Hittite Microwave Corp. has relocated its operations to a new facility at 12 Elizabeth Drive, Chelmsford, MA 01824 (978) 250-3343, fax (978) 250-3373. The e-mail address is hmcsales@hittite.com.

RF and microwave filter and diplexer manufacturer Luna Microwaves Inc. has moved to a larger facility at 7610-V Rickenbacker Dr., Gaithersburg, MD 20879. Telephone and fax numbers remain unchanged.

Trak Communications Inc. , a Tech-Sym company, has opened a new filter design center, Advanced Filter Solutions (AFS) , in Frederick, MD. The new facility will be responsible for sales, design and development of a comprehensive line of RF filter products for the wireless industry.

Centurion International Inc. has increased its presence globally by opening a new manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico; expanding its Asian management team and relocating offices to Seoul, South Korea; and building a new campus with corporate headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Lincoln, NE. In addition, Centurion has acquired Sigma Wireless Technologies ' portable antenna division in Dublin, Ireland and relocated it to the company's operations in Aylesbury, UK.

New Zealand-based Deltec has changed its name and look to represent the company's growing presence in the global telecommunications industry. The newly named company, Deltec Telesystems , will continue to design, manufacture and market advanced base station antennas, filters and control systems and offer its line of Teletilt™ remote-controlled electrical downtilt antennas.

CTS Corp.'s Electrocomponents business unit, which designs and manufactures variable resistor, encoder and switch products, will be integrated with the company's Resistor Products business unit to form CTS Resistor/Electrocomponents . Simultaneously, CTS Electrocomponents' loudspeaker and electromechanical assembly products will integrate into CTS' Automotive Products business. All customer support personnel and manufacturing facilities will remain unaffected.

RF and microwave specialty component distributor Richardson Electronics Ltd. , LaFox, IL, has entered into an agreement with Motorola Semiconductor Product Sector to serve as its global RF, microwave and wireless components distributor. In related news, Richardson Electronics and M/A-COM , a division of AMP Inc. , have expanded their distribution agreement to include Taiwan. The distribution agreement will provide technical support and product availability to the wireless telecommunications, automotive, aerospace and defense markets.

Unique Broadband Systems Inc. has named Chilean-based Telefonia Y Comunicaciones SA (TECOM) a distributor of its broadband wireless equipment product line. Under the terms of the agreement, TECOM is responsible for purchasing equipment worth US$2.1 M over the length of the agreement, which expires December 31, 2000. The agreement is expected to increase sales and create brand recognition in the South American market.

Tekmark Inc. , Atlanta, GA, has selected Diamond Advanced Components Inc. to serve as North American distributor for its high quality quartz frequency control products to the computer, telecommunications, wireless data communications, CEM and other OEM markets.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) , Palo Alto, CA, and Ando Electric Co. Ltd. of Tokyo have entered into a three-year agreement to develop and market test instruments for the emerging high bandwidth DWDM and SONET/SDH functional test market. The agreement does not apply to other HP and Ando products, which the companies will continue to market and sell independently worldwide. In related news, HP and Integrated Measurement Systems' (IMS) Virtual Test Division have entered into an agreement to offer virtual test software tools for verifying the compatibility of test programs with high performance semiconductor designs without using a prototype. The alliance is the culmination of a two-year relationship during which the companies collaborated on developing methods to enhance the IC testing process.

IBM and Siemens Information and Communication Networks have signed an agreement to apply next-generation system-on-a-chip products based on IBM's silicon germanium (SiGe) process technology to high performance mobile network communication systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Siemen's Communication on Air business unit will gain access to IBM's SiGe technologies currently in development. SiGe technology is a process in which the standard silicon that forms the base of microchips is augmented with germanium to make the chips operate much faster with decreased power consumption and increased integration capabilities.

American Microsystems Inc. (AMI) , Pocatello, ID, has entered into an agreement with Rambus Inc. , Mountain View, CA, to license the company's Direct Rambus™ technology for clock generator devices. AMI will design and manufacture a family of Direct Rambus clock generator devices to support high bandwidth Rambus® memory systems for computers, communications and consumer products as well as other high performance electronic systems.

Superconductor Technologies Inc. , Santa Barbara, CA, has entered into a five-year agreement with US Cellular Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, US Cellular will acquire a minimum of 100 SuperFilter® systems over the next year and a minimum of 400 systems over the subsequent four years. In turn, Superconductor Technologies will issue US Cellular a warrant, subject to vesting provisions, providing for the purchase of up to one million shares of the company's stock at $4 per share.

Gabriel Electronics Inc. , Scarborough, ME, and Endgate Corp. , Sunnyvale, CA, have entered into a joint agreement to introduce a new generation of smaller and more attractive antennas for the expanding broadband wireless market. The two companies will jointly market and support FlatFire™ and GemFire™ products globally while cooperating in the development of new, integrated antenna solutions for a variety of applications.

CoWare Inc. , a provider of system-level design tools for complex system-on-a-chip development, and Lucent Technologies have entered into an agreement whereby Lucent will use the CoWare N2C™ design software to minimize system-on-a-chip design time. In addition, Lucent plans to integrate some of its processor cores into the CoWare N2C system so customers can quickly complete designs.

Motorola Inc. has presented Texas A&M University College of Engineering with a $500 K gift to support the college's future system-on-a-chip research and development programs. The donation, which is expected to be paid over five years, will support activities of the analog and mixed-signal research program and fund research assistantships in an effort to fill the critical need for more analog and mixed-signal engineers.

Solid-state power amplifier manufacturer Comtech PST has begun supplying a two-year warranty for the company's standard general-purpose and standard wireless-band series class A linear amplifiers. The warranty will apply to module (AM series) as well as instrument (AR series) amplifiers.

Wireless communications equipment manufacturer Celwave , a division of Radio Frequency Systems Inc. , has begun base station antenna production in Brazil's recently expanded kmP factory in Embu, a suburb of Sao Paulo. The facility is restricting its initial output to Brazil exclusively; export to other South American markets is being planned.

The Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (DoD SBIR) program has launched its first solicitation for FY 2000. The SBIR program is the largest source of early stage research and development funding available in the US for small, high tech companies. Qualifying companies must have 500 or fewer employees and be US owned and organized for profit. Information on solicitation topics and submission procedures can be found at www.acq.osd.mil/sadbu/sbir. Proposals will be accepted December 1, 1999 through January 12, 2000.

Karl Suss is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Founded in 1949, the company's current product range includes the world's fastest production mask aligners, spin coater product lines for high end application markets, bonders and test equipment.

International Crystal Manufacturing (ICM) has been approved by the North Texas Women's Business Council as a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE). The certification will allow ICM to compete for business with corporations and agencies that recognize and support WBE.

Sonoma Scientific has received ISO 9001 certification.

Financial News

Andrew Corp. reports sales of $186.1 M for the third quarter, ended June 30, compared to $204.2 M for the same period last year. Net income was $14.7 M (18¢/diluted share), compared to $24.6 M (28¢/diluted share) for the third quarter of 1998.

REMEC Inc. reports sales of $47.3 M for the second quarter, ended July 30, compared to $44.4 M for the same period last year. Net loss was $2.8 M (11¢/diluted share), compared to a net loss of $6.5 M (26¢/diluted share) for the second quarter of 1998.

Watkins-Johnson Co. reports sales for continuing operations of $34.9 M for the second quarter, ended June 25, compared to $26.8 M for the same period last year. Net income from continuing operations was $3 M (45¢/diluted share), compared to $563 K (7¢/diluted share) for the second quarter of 1998.

Ansoft Corp. reports sales of $6.9 M for the first quarter, ended July 31, compared to $5.2 M for the same period last year. Net loss was $893 K (8¢/share), compared to a net loss of $1.3 M (11¢/share) for the first quarter last year.

Robinson Nugent Inc. reports sales of $18.9 M for the fourth quarter, ending June 30, compared to $16.4 M for the fourth quarter of 1998. Net income was $1.2 M (24¢/share), compared to a net loss of $2.5 M (52¢/share) for the same period last year.

Superconductor Technologies Inc. reports sales of $1.5 M for the second quarter, ended July 3, compared to $2.2 M for the same period last year. Net loss was $2.4 M (31¢/share), compared to a net loss of $2.2 M (28¢/share) for the second quarter of 1998.

Contracts

RF engineering and system deployment service firm LCC International Inc. has signed a contract valued at approximately $115 M with XM Satellite Radio Inc. for the design and deployment of XM's terrestrial repeater network. The contract designates LCC as the prime contractor for the implementation of XM's supplemental terrestrial repeater sites. The repeater network will use direct satellite-to-receiver broadcasting technology to provide radio listeners with up to 100 channels of digital radio from coast to coast.

Sanders , a Lockheed Martin company, has been awarded a $43 M contract for continued production of millimeter-wave transceivers for the Longbow Hellfire Missile System. The missile system is deployed on US Army AH-64D helicopters and will be installed on UK Army WAH-64 Apache helicopters. Sanders will build 4200 transceivers for Lockheed Martin Millimeter-wave Technologies Inc., a Lockheed Martin subsidiary. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in April 2000 and are expected to be completed in February 2002.

L-3 Communications' Global Network Solutions (GNS) business unit has been awarded a $15 M contract to provide a complete private digital microwave voice and data network to the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) organization. Under the terms of the contract, GNS will install a private communications network that spans ENR's entire 6000-mile right-of-way, including site survey and facility installation work. In related news, L-3 Communications' Telemetry & Instrumentation (L-3 T&I) has awarded a contract to EMP TrexCom to supply three model 050 2.4-meter antenna systems to be installed in the Hebrides range facility for the Defense Evaluation Research Agency in the UK. The three systems are part of a $3.6 M contract received by L-3 T&I for the upgrade of the facility, which will support testing of the next-generation, high energy air-to-air missiles.

Andrew Corp. , Orland Park, IL, has been awarded a contract from Level 3 Communications to supply and install equipment shelters along the company's fiber-optic communications network in the US and Canada. Under the terms of the $14 M contract, Andrew will design, manufacture and install shelters at 96 sites along Level 3's US and Canadian route. All shelters are expected to be installed and operative by December 2000.

GPS and wireless antenna designer and manufacturer Micro Pulse Inc. has been awarded an 18-month contract valued at $3.4 M from San Diego, CA-based QUALCOMM Inc. to supply antennas for use on QUALCOMM's OmniTRACS® Mobile Information Management system. The fully integrated information management system provides two-way mobile communications, satellite tracking, and real-time messaging and position reporting between fleets and their operation centers.

Signal Technology Corp. , Danvers, MA, has received contracts totaling $971 K from Raytheon Systems Co. and Raytheon's suppliers to manufacture components, including isolators, mixers, limiters and limiter/filter assemblies, for the Patriot Missile System. The components will be produced at Signal Technology's California division in Sunnyvale, CA.

Scientific-Atlanta Inc. , Norcross, GA, has signed a multimillion-dollar contract with Telespazio SpA, a Telecom Italia Group company, to develop, manufacture and install the satellite ground terminals that form a major portion of the ground infrastructure network for Astrolink, a new global satellite system. Under the terms of the contract, Scientific-Atlanta will supply the Gateway Satellite Access Facility RF terminals and the Intersatellite Gateway Links comprising precision tracking antenna systems, front-end communications electronics and high speed modems. The contract covers the networks' first four regions: Europe, Asia, the Atlantic and North America. Astrolink commercial service is scheduled to begin in 2003 with full deployment planned for 2004.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc. , Metuchen, NJ, has been awarded a contract by Motorola of Buenos Aires to provide CDMA test transmitters that will be used to aid in CDMA system build-out. In related news, Berkeley Varitronics Systems has been awarded a contract by World Access, Alpharetta, GA, for eight PCS 20 W class A Gator transmitters that will aid in rapid build-out of PCS networks. Financial details of both contracts were not disclosed.

Chipscale Robotics Inc. , Fremont, CA, has received an order from Coherent Inc. for a high accuracy DSH 5000 pick-and-place system for die stacking. The system will use both up- and down-looking optics for precision die stacking and inspection. Coherent will use the system in its manufacturing operations. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Personnel

TriPoint Global Communications Inc. has appointed Thomas J. Scanio , chief technical officer. Scanio has more than 25 years of experience in engineering design and management and, most recently, was VP, product development for the Antenna Control division of TriPoint's RSI group.

REMEC Inc. has appointed Mark D. Dankberg to serve on its board of directors. Dankberg is the founder, chairmen and CEO of ViaSat Inc.

James E. Bunting has been named CFO at SatCom Systems Inc. Most recently, Bunting was VP, CFO aNd COO at Intellicell Corp.

ANADIGICS has announced several new personnel appointments, including Thomas C. Shields as CFO, John E. Warren III as VP, human resources and Glenn Fraser as VP, RF Standard Products. Most recently, Shields was VP of finance and controller at Fisher Scientific Co.; Warren was VP, human resources at Alpha-Net Solutions; and Fraser was director of the Wireless Business Unit at Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc.

Rodale Electronics Inc. has promoted Vince Maida to VP and director of operations. In addition, Paul Ablequist has been named VP, sales and marketing. Most recently, Maida was VP, engineering; Ablequist was VP, marketing for the EMS Division of Ultra Electronics plc.

Acoustic signal processing product manufacturer Micro Networks/Andersen Laboratories has appointed Linda Plano VP and business unit manager, frequency products. Most recently, Plano was head of the Electronic Materials and Microsystems Group at Sarnoff Corp.

Custom Microwave Inc. has appointed Michael Kujawa VP, business development. Kujawa has 17 years of experience in the SATCOM, aerospace and automated meteorology markets.

Smart antenna system provider Metawave Communications Corp. has appointed Andy Merrill VP, customer operations. Merrill has 15 years of experience in the cellular industry and, most recently, was field engineering manager of Motorola Inc.'s western region.

David J. London has been appointed VP, sales and marketing at Piconics Inc. Most recently, London served as VP at mm-Tech Inc.

Stellex-Phoenix Microwave has appointed Mark Fornier director of sales at its Phoenix Microwave operation. Fornier has more than 18 years of sales and marketing experience in the RF and microwave industry and, most recently, was marketing manager at M/A-COM's Aerospace and Defense business.

Flexible waveguide manufacturer Quasar Microwave Technology Ltd. has appointed Mark Jewell sales and marketing director. Jewell has experience in RF and microwave sales in the international market, including Asia, Australia and Europe.

Ron Desilets has joined Metclad International Corp. as North American sales and marketing manager. Desilets brings to the company 20 years of experience in microwave laminates and circuits.

CTS Corp. has named John W. Cline director of engineering for CTS Reeves Frequency Products. Prior to joining the company, Cline served as president of Oak Frequency Control Inc.

Tensolite-QMI has appointed Will Jensen director of sales and marketing. Jensen brings to the company sales and marketing management experience from companies that provide products and services to the wireless telecommunication marketplace.

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Integrated Systems and Aerostructures sector has named Frank Wagner director and integrated product team leader for the F-14 program. Wagner has more than 20 years of F-14 experience and, most recently, was program manager for F-14 new programs at Northrop Grumman.

ARCOM Inc. has named Dieter Kaiser director of operations for its product line of mm-wave wireless components and subsystems. Kaiser brings to the company more than 20 years of high volume manufacturing experience and, most recently, worked at Whistler Corp.

Surface-mount technology and advanced packaging supplier Quad Systems Corp. has appointed Jay DiGiovanni director of software engineering. Most recently, DiGiovanni was director of systems engineering at CFM Technologies Inc.

Palomar Technologies has announced several new personnel appointments, including Michael Criscuolo as manager of customer service and Gabriel Perez and Jerrol Olsen as field service engineers. Criscuolo has 18 years of management experience at General Dynamics, Convair Division and Palomar Robotics Technologies; Perez most recently was a field service engineer at Devoltec; and Olson has 13 years of technical experience and electronics training with the United States Marine Corps.

Leo Messier has been appointed business unit manager for HELIAX® connector products at Andrew Corp. Messier has more than 30 years of operations and materials experience. Prior to joining Andrew, he was director of operations at Huber + Suhner Inc., North America and Amphenol RF/Microwave.

Rep Appointments

Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor Inc. , San Jose, CA, has named Kruvand Associates Inc. , Richardson, TX, to represent its microwave, lightwave and GaAs IC DataComm products in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas (excluding El Paso County). In the past 10 months, Fujitsu has added five new sales representative firms to cover more than 30 percent of the US.

Advanced Semiconductor Inc. , North Hollywood, CA, has appointed several European companies to represent its line of microwave and RF components, including Semic RF Electronic GmbH to cover Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe; Novacom Microwave Ltd. to cover the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands; and Compomill AB to cover Scandinavia.

Web Sites

Aethercomm , San Marcos, CA, has designed a new Web site containing information about the company's RF, microwave and millimeter-wave amplifiers, transmitters, receivers, components and ASICs for use by military, satellite communications and commercial wireless customers. The site can be accessed at www.aethercomm.com.

Association Connecting Electronics Industries has designed a new Web site dedicated to GenCAM,SM the industry standard for printed board data transfer. The site is a one-stop source for information on the format, including CAD and CAM suppliers, accuracy checkers and the standard itself. The site can be accessed at www.gencam.org.

Interstate Electronics Corp. , a division of L-3 Communications , has designed a new Web site to discuss the release and other authoritative material related to the defense industry and GPS. The site, which can be accessed at www.rankin-group.com/iecpr, will highlight the company's developments and current products for the US Navy's Extended Range Guided Munition program and the US Army's new 155 mm Excalibur GPS receiver projectile.

Microwave Solutions Inc. , National City, CA, has designed a Web site containing product information on the latest amplifiers used in today's market, including high power, drop-in, broadband, communication, low noise and stocked. Press releases, key specifications, company information and purchasing information can be accessed at www.microwavesolutions.com.

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