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Industry News

Around The Circuit

February 15, 2007
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Industry News

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) announced it has signed an agreement to sell the majority of its Bluetooth“ assets to QUALCOMM for $39 M. The pending transaction is expected to provide QUALCOMM access to next-generation Bluetooth technology. RFMD anticipates the transaction will enable it to increase its focus on its highest growth wireless business opportunities. Under the agreement, QUALCOMM will acquire the majority of RFMD’s Bluetooth assets, including intellectual property, related to RFMD’s next-generation SiW1722 and RF4000 series.


Laird Technologies, a designer and manufacturer of antenna solutions, electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding products, telematics and thermal management solutions, announced the acquisition of Steward Inc. and its subsidiaries for $52.5 M. Steward is a provider of ferrite-based products that are used to remove unwanted EMI “noise” and other signals at unwanted frequencies from conductors. Steward revenues in its fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, were $50 M.

CoorsTek Inc., a large technical ceramics supplier and manufacturer of critical components for high technology markets, announced the acquisition of Gaiser Tool Co., a ceramic precision tooling manufacturer based in Ventura, CA with operations in Tokyo, Japan. CoorsTek plans to retain the Gaiser brand while infusing technical and material innovations to further enhance the company’s high quality market position. With precision ceramic tools capable of part dimensions as small as 2 mm, CoorsTek also expects to expand its micro-component capabilities for a variety of markets.

Comarco Wireless Test Solutions, a supplier of wireless test systems for field applications, and Ascom, a specialist in wireless onsite communication solutions, announced that the two companies have formed a cooperative alliance to develop and market 3G and 4G wireless network Quality of Service, optimization and test measurement systems. This alliance will create a global leader by positioning the two companies to capitalize on the increasing interest of wireless carriers in improved Quality of Service, as well as the expected deployment of more advanced, high capacity next-generation broadband wireless networks.

Response Microwave Inc., a global specialist in providing RF/microwave customer solutions, announced that it has moved into a new, larger facility in Devens, MA. The new facility includes office and meeting space for administrative tasks, as well as a complete microwave test and engineering lab for electrical measurements and simulations. The complete offering of passive control components and Compel connectivity solutions are also stocked within this space, which provides enhancements to existing Framingham and Leominster office areas. The facility is located at 94 Jackson Road, Suite 110, Devens, MA 01434, and all existing contact numbers for the company remain valid.

2Wire, a provider of broadband service delivery platforms, is expanding operations into the state of Texas, beginning with a new facility in San Antonio. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, 2Wire is rapidly growing to meet the needs of major telecom broadband providers, and plans to hire hundreds of employees to staff the new facility. The San Antonio facility includes a 38,000 square foot call center staffed by more than 500 technical support agents.

The ZigBee™ Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in residential, commercial and industrial applications, announced the first group of ZigBee Certified Products, marking a major milestone in the Alliance’s ultimate vision of creating an open, global, wireless sensor and control networking solution. Member companies earning ZigBee Certified Product status include MaxStream, NEC Engineering, S3C and Software Technologies Group.

Provigent, a provider of system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for the broadband wireless transmission market, announced that the company has been shipping lead free components for the past two years. Provigent SoC components are in compliance with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) legislation.


Contracts

Merrimac Industries Inc. announced that it has received a contract that could reach a maximum value of $4.3 M over its five-year term from ITT Corp. to continue to provide a sophisticated Multi-Mix“ multilayer filter assembly for use in an Airborne Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) application. The initial order placed on this contract is valued at $708,000 and is scheduled to be recognized during 2007. Under the terms of this contract, ITT will be able to order varying numbers of filter assemblies to support its Department of Defense contract managed by ITT’s Electronic Systems Division.

Triton Services Inc., Electron Technology Division, Easton, PA, has been awarded a contract for the development of a new Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier (TWTA) for a shipboard tracking radar. The value of the contract awarded by a European defense contractor exceeds $1 M for the development and the first pre-production lot.

Goodrich Corp. has been awarded a contract from the US Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab (UAVB) at Nellis Air Force Base (Nevada) to develop and fabricate a short-wave infrared (IR) sensor for the Spectre-Finder initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to rapidly demonstrate the potential of a small, air launched and recoverable Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to provide off-board sensing in support of future Air Force Special Operations Command concepts of operation. Under the terms of the contract, Goodrich’s SUI team, headquartered in Princeton, NJ, will develop a SWIR camera payload assembly.

M2 Global Technology Ltd., a San Antonio, TX-based engineering and contract manufacturer of satellite, microwave, TV broadcast and radio subsystems, has been awarded a US Air Force (USAF) contract to develop an advanced Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). The new PLB will replace the aging AN/URT-33, which is a part of the survival equipment issued to USAF aircrew. The beacon will provide search and rescue satellite-aided tracking capabilities as well as multiple homing signals to assist in the location and rescue of downed aircrew.

Mtel (formally known as Mobiltel EAD), a wireless operator in Bulgaria, has selected and implemented Andrew Corp.’s Odyssey™ cellular radio planning software system to replace a market-leading radio planning tool. Odyssey, used by operators worldwide and backed by Andrew’s global customer support services, provides radio frequency design for the complete network lifecycle and is an accurate radio prediction solution. It significantly enhances a wireless operator’s ability to save network planning time and infrastructure costs.

Agilent Technologies Inc. has won a European-wide bid to supply the German Federal Armed Forces with more than 1500 digital storage oscilloscopes (DSO). The 6000 series oscilloscopes will be used by engineers and technicians to test electrical equipment at the maintenance and repair facilities of the German Air Force, Navy and Army.

XCOM Wireless Inc., a developer of radio frequency (RF) products, has selected Innovative Micro Technology (IMT), a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) contract manufacturer, to manufacture die for the company’s RF MEMS relay product. XCOM and IMT have implemented an effective wafer manufacturing process to produce RF relay die with exceptional performance, reliability and environmental ruggedness.


Financial News

Plexus Corp. reports sales of $396.9 M for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 ended September 30, 2006, compared to $322.2 M for the same period in 2005. Net income for the quarter was $42.6 M ($0.91/per diluted share), compared to a net income of $10.5 M ($0.24/per diluted share) for the fourth quarter of last year.

Credence Systems Corp., a provider of test solutions from design-to-production for the worldwide semiconductor industry, announced that it has entered into separate privately negotiated agreements with certain holders of its outstanding 1.50 percent Convertible Subordinated Notes due 2008 (the “Outstanding Notes”) under which such holders have agreed to exchange $72.5 M aggregate principal amount of Outstanding Notes for an equivalent principal amount of a new series of 3.50 percent Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2010 and to purchase an additional $50 M aggregate principal amount of the new series of 3.50 percent Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2010 (together, the “New Notes”).

Mike Edwards

Tower Semiconductor Ltd. reports sales of $51.5 M for the third quarter ended September 30, 2006, compared to $20.6 M for the same period in 2005. Net income for the quarter was $39.5 M ($0.46/per share), compared to a net loss of $55.4 M ($0.83/per share) for the third quarter of last year.

Alereon Inc., an ultra-wideband (UWB) technology leader for mobile WiMedia and Wireless USB solutions, announced it has received a $4 M investment from Samsung Ventures’ strategic technologies investment fund.

Personnel

Lord Bach of Lutterworth has been named chairman of Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems. Lord Bach, who was UK Minister for Defence Procurement from 2001 to 2005, will bring his deep understanding and experience of the defence environment in the UK and internationally, to support the Group’s growth strategy. The company has two main operating subsidiaries, Galileo Avionica S.p.A. (Italy) and Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems Ltd. (UK), with over 4000 employees in the UK. The company also announced the appointment of Giancarlo Grasso as chief executive officer, with operational responsibility for the business.

CL Lim

Xceive ® Corp., a developer of fully integrated multi-standard RF-to-baseband transceiver ICs for TVs, announced that Rich Beyer, CEO and director of Intersil Corp., has joined Xceive’s board of directors. Following Intersil’s acquisition of Elantec Semiconductor Inc. in 2002, Beyer held the position of president in addition to his two current titles. In early 2006, Beyer shifted rolls at Intersil and took his current position as CEO and director. Beyer also serves as director of Credence Systems Corp. and is currently on the board of directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Amphenol Corp. announced that it has promoted R. Adam Norwitt to the newly created position of president and chief operating officer. Norwitt will focus on enhancing the company’s growth in new technologies and new markets. Norwitt will also be assuming an active role in the further strengthening and expansion of the company’s existing business, particularly in international markets. Norwitt has held a variety of management, business development and operating positions in Amphenol operations in Asia and the United States since joining Amphenol in 1998. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of the company and group general manager of Amphenol’s worldwide RF and microwave products operations.

David Smith

Antenova has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Mike Edwards as vice president of worldwide sales and marketing and the promotion of CL Lim to vice president and general manager of Asia. Edwards’ role is to drive the company’s global sales activities. He has extensive applications-oriented product marketing experience in the wireless device, telecoms, computer and telematics market sectors, from start-up firms to large multi-national corporations. Lim is to lead manufacturing and operations in Asia. He has more than 26 years experience in international sales, business development and technical operations and management in the wireless and telecommunication industry, which includes senior roles at Motorola and Sanmina.

Roke Manor Research Ltd. has appointed David Smith as managing director. Smith takes responsibility for a company employing more than 450 employees, a turnover of £40 M and a reputation for world-class research and development in both the defense and commercial sectors. He joined Roke in 2000 and became the head of the company’s wireless business in 2001, building up the division on the strength of its expertise in cellular technology and defense communications.

Paul J. Leo

Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. announced the appointment of Richard Boulanger as general manager of its die bonder operations located in Berg, Switzerland. Boulanger will be responsible for overall manufacturing, R&D, product development and business operations for the facility, including the development of a next-generation die bonder platform and expansion into new markets throughout the world. Boulanger has extensive experience in semiconductor assembly. Most recently, he served as vice president of the Advanced Semiconductor Assembly Division of Universal Instruments Corp., a business unit that provided full solutions for the precision placement of flip chips and bare die.

CobhamDES Corp. announced the addition of Paul J. Leo as director, business development for the Cobham Microwave Group. Leo will oversee the domestic and international sales channels and the development of CobhamDES’s strategic product integration. Leo brings more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international business development to the
industry.

RFMW Ltd. announced Carolyn Evans as the company’s regional sales engineer covering Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Evans previous experience includes eight years as a field sales engineer at California Eastern Labs, as well as stints with M/A-COM, Amplifonix and Merrimac.


Rep Appointments

Digi-Key Corp. and Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co. Ltd. (NDK) announced the signing of a global distribution agreement. One of the fastest growing distributors of electronic components, Digi-Key Corp. ships products to more than 140 countries from its single facility in Minnesota (US). The NDK surface-mount crystals and oscillators stocked by Digi-Key will be featured in both Digi-Key’s print and on-line catalogs with this new distribution agreement enabling Digi-Key to fulfill both the design and production needs of its diverse customer base.

Unity Wireless Corp. announced that it has successfully signed a distribution agreement with Russia’s largest wireless equipment distribution company. This agreement now gives Unity much needed relationships and access to Russia’s tier-1 wireless network operators for the outdoor and new indoor repeater line of products.

Auriga Measurement Systems LLC announced the signing of four new representatives for its custom test, characterization, and modeling systems and services. ProTEQ Solutions Inc. will be the company’s exclusive representative in five New England states while Jay Stone Associates (JSA), San Jose, CA, will cover northern California and northern Nevada. Existing representative CWI Technical Sales has expanded its territory to the entire east coast beyond New England. Sematron UK Ltd. has signed on as exclusive distributor for the UK and Ireland while Testforce Systems Inc. will exclusively cover Canada.

MITEQ Inc. announced the appointment of SpanTech Microwave Technology S.A. as the company’s exclusive sales representative in Spain and Portugal. SpanTech Microwave will represent MITEQ’s Component division of products, which includes amplifiers, mixers, frequency multipliers, passive power components, switches, attenuators, limiters, phase shifters, IF signal processing components, oscillators, synthesizers, integrated multifunction assemblies and fiber optic products. SpanTech Microwave can be contacted at +34-95-241-7024 or e-mail: sales@spantech.es.

Temex has concluded a representative agreement with Nearzenith Technologies to promote and sell the company’s range of components, which includes SAW filters, VCOs, PLL synthesizers, crystal resonators and crystal oscillators, in China. Nearzenith Technologies is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, and has branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Nanjing. The company has 21 employees, annual revenue of $6 M and clients in South, East, Central, Southwest and Northwest China.

W.L. Gore & Associates, a provider of aerospace wire and high data rate cable, announced A.E. Petsche Co. as the exclusive North America distributor of GORE™ Bulk Wire and Cable. This agreement enables Gore to continue to provide its key customers with excellent service and sales support.

Zilker Labs Inc. announced that it has signed TLG Electronics Ltd. as a distribution partner in China. TLG will complement the efforts of Zilker Labs’ Asian subsidiary, Hong Kong-based Zilker Labs Asia Ltd., to expand Zilker Labs’ Chinese business. Specifically, TLG will focus on forging new customer relationships and providing applications support to developing programs.

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