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Industry News

Around the Circuit

March 24, 2008
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Industry News

A report released by national non-profit Connected Nation suggests that the US could realize an impact of $134 B annually from a modest increase in broadband adoption. The report details the potential state-by-state impact of legislation to accelerate broadband access and use. The Connected Nation report measures the impact of its first state-based program, ConnectKentucky. Kentucky has experienced a rate of growth in broadband adoption (i.e. the number of households subscribing to high-speed broadband service) that is measurably higher than the nation. By surveying consumer savings in time, miles driven and healthcare and by calculating the impact on job creation/retention, the report projects the estimated annual economic benefit for Kentucky. From this data, Connected Nation extrapolated the economic impact of modest growth in broadband adoption for each state and the country as a whole.

As improvement projects continue in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Andrew Wireless Solutions is helping ensure wireless coverage is at a gold medal standard in Beijing Metro’s six rail lines. Andrew was chosen to supply and install wireless networking systems that will improve coverage and add network capacity in Beijing Metro’s lines, which will see heavy use during the upcoming international event. The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games has predicted that Beijing will receive 6.4 million visitors during the events, which would have put Beijing Metro’s previous wireless network capacity under strain. “Andrew has a strong track record in supporting rail systems around the world, including 12 previous projects in Beijing,” said Patrick Leung, managing director, Andrew Telecommunications (China) Co. Ltd., Andrew’s China subsidiary. “In fact, Andrew has supported nearly 30 metro rail projects in Shanghai, Guangzhou and other major Chinese cities to ensure world-class wireless communications.”


Accellera, an electronics industry organization focused on Electronic Design Automation (EDA) standards, announced that its members and board of directors have approved the VHDL 4.0 standard specification. VHDL 4.0 is a refinement of VHDL 3.0 (approved by Accellera in October 2006) based on feedback from trial implementations. Accellera has immediate plans to release VHDL 4.0 to the IEEE for balloting in 2008 and to support the IEEE 1076™-2008 balloting process. VHDL 4.0 addresses over 90 issues that were discovered during the trial implementation period for the VHDL 3.0 version. These encompass enhancements to major new areas introduced by VHDL 3.0 including generic types, intellectual property protection, property specification language integration, VHDL application programming interface integration, and the introduction of fixed and floating point types. “We have established an effective process for delivering standards in a timely manner and transferring them to the IEEE,” said Shrenik Mehta, chairman of Accellera. “The IEEE gave us permission to revise the VHDL language and continue to improve it, thereby addressing the needs of the VHDL community.”

Park Electrochemical Corp. announced the grand opening of its new advanced composite materials plant located on Pioneer Road in Jurong, Singapore. The new facility will focus on the development and manufacture of advanced composite materials for the aerospace industry in Asia. The new facility contains approximately 32,000 square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and office space. The Pioneer Plant will be operated by Park’s wholly owned subsidiary, Nelco Products Pte. Ltd. (Nelco Singapore), which is also located in Jurong, Singapore. Nelco Singapore, which commenced operations in October 1986, develops and manufactures high-tech materials for the Asian electronics equipment industry. The grand opening of the Pioneer Plant coincides with the Singapore Air Show.

Neptuny, an IP network planning and capacity management specialist, has warned organizations offering Internet services to the public, as well as those firms using intranets, to prepare for a revolution in wireless technology that is coming in the next 12 months. In February, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced a major enhancement to the Bluetooth personal area network standard that allows compatible devices to hop on to WiFi networks whenever extra range and/or bandwidth is required. The enhancement, which essentially makes Bluetooth devices capable of handing off data calls to WiFi networks—and vice versa—is known as alternate MAC/PHY and will be seen in the Bluetooth 3.0 standard due out later this year. “Any organization offering user-facing Internet or intranet facilities can expect to see a surge in their WiFi bandwidth usage as hundreds of millions of mobile phone users start to come on-stream,” said Fabio Violante, Neptuny’s founder and CEO.

Orbit, a designer, developer and manufacturer of a wide range of stabilized satellite communication systems, announced Standard Intelsat Type Approval (GVF/IA 200FLT K2&G) for its OrSat (AL-7103 MK II) Ku-band Maritime Stabilized Antenna System. The approval comes on the heels of Eutelsat Type approval last year. “These type approvals from the leading satellite companies are a significant step forward for Orbit,” said Ehud Netzer, Orbit’s CEO.

Litron, a primary outsourcing partner for medical device and aerospace suppliers, now houses its glovebox units in a Class 100,000 Clean Room. This adds a new level of protection for mission-critical parts as they are handled on their way to and from the glovebox. “This is one of several investments we have made to ensure that the components we handle are returned in pristine condition,” said Mark A. Plasse, Litron president. “While many outsourcing partners provide glovebox hermetic sealing, it is rare—maybe even unique—to find the same level of protection for components as they travel through a vendor’s plant. We see this as a valuable new contribution to the efficacy of our customers’ medical and electronic devices.”

Allied Electronics, a subsidiary of Electrocomponents plc, has been recognized with a Silver Award from Honeywell for revenue growth. Each year Honeywell Sensing and Control recognizes members within its sales channel for outstanding achievements. This year, Honeywell recognized Allied for 2007 Largest Organic Revenue Growth Year Over Year. “It is an honor for Allied to be recognized by Honeywell for our outstanding revenue growth,” said Scott McLendon, vice president of marketing at Allied. “Our partnership with Honeywell has been mutually beneficial in helping both organizations grow.”

Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, views the Experia Windows Mobile 6 device announcement from SonyEricsson as a win-win for both players in driving further gains in the European smart device market. Microsoft gains due to SonyEricsson’s track record of innovation for European consumers, while SonyEricsson diversifies its struggling smart device lineup and becomes a valid smart device supplier to the picky European business user segment. “To date, SonyEricsson has been unable to leverage its innovation track record to drive smart device sales; and we are concerned that adding the Experia sub-brand will cause some consternation to users in terms of deciphering the primary value of the device and its various brands,” said Neil Mawston, director at Strategy Analytics. “However, with Windows Mobile on Experia, SonyEricsson diversifies its aged Symbian line-up, and immediately establishes a choice for both media hungry consumers and business-minded professionals needing the productivity and messaging synergies that Microsoft offers.”

ABI Research expects sales of mobile phone accessories are expected to generate over $40 B in revenue in 2008 and that the market for mobile phone accessories will grow steadily in the next five years, generating over $80 B in revenue in 2012. The firm’s recent study “Mobile Phone Accessories” examines the market landscape and future potential for mobile phone accessory products. The growing popularity of mobile phones with large screens and touchscreens is resulting in strong sales of accessory products that offer handset protection, such as carry cases, covers, screen protectors and scratch removers. Audio-video playback capabilities in handsets are resulting in growing demand for earphones and headsets, as well as memory cards to enable storage of music, videos and images. Also, the need for connecting the mobile phone to the PC/laptop for transferring multimedia and data files means a greater need for accessory products such as data connection kits and USB chargers.

Contracts

Aeroflex announced it has entered into a multi-year contract worth in excess of $10 M with a leading supplier of cellular mobile phones and communications devices. This contract selects Aeroflex as a leading supplier of manufacturing test solutions for mobile handsets worldwide. “Aeroflex’s innovative RF PXI products have helped our customer realize a significant reduction in manufacturing test time. We are pleased to provide a flexible platform to accommodate the varied test demands for current cellular and emerging broadband wireless systems,” said Bob Vogel, vice president/general manager, Aeroflex Test Solutions, Wireless Division. Customer deliveries have commenced and the first product lines using Aeroflex equipment are currently operational.

Laser Energetics Inc. announced it has received a contract worth $481,268 from ITT Corp. for a laser demonstration of an all solid state frequency tripled Alexandrite laser using the LEI proprietary BrightStar™ technology. This contract is in support of the US Army’s initiative to develop an all solid-state laser for the next generation of chemical warfare agent sensor currently being developed by ITT. The contract follows the Army’s selection of Laser Energetics’ BrightStar™ as the laser technology of choice for this remote sensing of chemical warfare agents.

RF Neulink’s Telemetry Division announced it has been awarded an initial $335,000 contract to support the United States Marine Corps’ Integrated GPS Radio System (IGRS). The IGRS is an advanced personnel tracking system which will provide the USMC with GPS-based real-time tracking, position and status information for personnel engaged in battlefield activities. “We hope to announce further contracts for this project later this year,” said Robert White, Neulink’s sales and marketing director.

Nextlink has signed a master purchase agreement with DragonWave for the purchase of carrier grade radio solutions in support of Nextlink’s portfolio of broadband wireless services. Nextlink will use DragonWave’s Horizon and AirPair products to offer backhaul solutions that enable wireless service providers to more cost-effectively support next generation mobile applications, content and data across their networks as an alternative to conventional wireline networks. Nextlink owns licensed wireless spectrum covering 75 metropolitan US markets.

AR Modular RF has been awarded a contract to supply its new model KMW1040 multi-band amplifier to the US Special Operations Command. The KMW1040 is designed as a vehicle-mounted 50 W, 30 to 512 MHz self-tuning amplifier. It will be used as a booster amplifier in conjunction with hand-held and vehicle-mounted multi-band tactical radios such as the Harris AN/PRC-117F, the Harris AN/PRC-152, the Raytheon AN/PSC-5D, the Thales AN/PRC-148 MBITR and other similar tactical radios.

Tampa Microwave, a designer and manufacturer of RF and microwave communications and test equipment for commercial and government applications, announced that the company has obtained a United States Government Services Administration (GSA) Schedule. The contract number GS-07F-0590T applies to Tampa Microwave’s converter, carrier monitoring and satellite simulator products. This contract places Tampa Microwave on an approved GSA schedule, enabling various government agencies to purchase products directly from the company.

Financial News

Ansoft Corp. announced financial results for its third quarter of fiscal 2008 ended January 31, 2008. Revenue for the third quarter totaled $26.1 M, an increase of 15% compared to $22.7 M reported in the previous fiscal year’s third quarter. Operating income for the third quarter was $10.0 M representing a 36% increase when compared to operating income of $7.4 M in the previous fiscal year’s third quarter.

RF Industries Ltd. announced results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2007. For the quarter, sales were $4 M compared to $4.1 M in the same quarter last year. Net income was $490,000, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to $473,000, or $0.13 per diluted share, in the same quarter last year.

New Market Entry

Southeastern Sales RF is a manufacturers’ representative firm focused on active and passive RF, microwave, and optical components and sub-systems for markets served in the southeastern US. The company currently operates from two offices located Florida, with a new office to be opened shortly in Atlanta, GA. Contact Southeastern Sales RF at (772) 812-2700 or visit its web site at www.sesrf.com.

Personnel

Surrey NanoSystems has appointed Duncan Cooper as its director of sales and marketing. With 25 years’ experience in the semiconductor industry, he brings a wealth of know-how to the company as its new breed of tools for growing carbon nanotubes at low temperatures moves from R&D labs to commercial fabrication. Cooper has start-up experience gained in the industrial laser industry, along with experience in semiconductor fabrication tools and materials applications, gained from over a decade with Tokyo Electron and Hoya.

Phase Matrix has appointed Alexander Chenakin as director of its Frequency Synthesis Group. Chenakin is responsible for overseeing the development of a new generation of fast switching frequency synthesizers. An internationally recognized expert in the field of microwave frequency synthesis, he received his degree from Kiev Polytechnic Institute and has worked in a variety of technical and managerial positions around the world. He has led the development of advanced products for Celeritek, Nextek, Micro Lambda Wireless, General Electronic Devices and other companies.

Cristina Larrazabal has joined RFMW as a field sales manager for the company’s San Diego and Orange County territories. Larrazabal comes to the company from a long career in electronics distribution (as inside and field sales), having spent over four years with Newark Electronics and, most recently, more than eight years with Future Electronics.

Omron Electronic Components LLC announced the appointment of Nigel Blakeway as its new chief operations officer (COO) and managing director. Blakeway previously served at Omron Component Business-European Union (OCB-EU) in Amsterdam as the COO. He moved to OCB-EU in 2003 to take over the independent components business. Previously, Blakeway worked for Matsushita (Panasonic Electronic Components) for 11 years. He was also at BC Components (originally Philips Passive Components) as part of the original divestment team and a director of the new operation.

MITEQ Inc. announced the appointment of Howard Hausman as president. Joining Hausman on the executive management team are David Krautheimer and Steven Spohrer. Together, the team brings many years of experience in management, sales, engineering and operations, and will take responsibility to manage MITEQ’s ongoing operations.

Chris Korson has joined LPKF Laser & Electronics to develop and manage the Plastic-Welding and Laser-Direct Structuring (LDS) product lines based in Detroit, MI. Korson formally worked for Lanxess Corp., a chemical company that was divested from Bayer Corp. in 2004. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and 14 years of experience in the plastics field.




Provigent, a provider of system-on-a-chip solutions for the broadband wireless transmission market, announced that Victor Koretsky has joined the company as senior vice president, worldwide sales and business development. Prior to joining Provigent, Koretsky was corporate vice president of worldwide sales and marketing of the DSP Group, having joined the company at its inception. Koretsky has 25 years of experience in the telecommunication and semiconductor industries and holds a MSc degree in electronics from Moscow Technical University of Communication and Informatics and an MBA degree from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He also holds numerous patents in the field.

Aperto Networks, a builder of WiMAX base stations and subscriber units, announced the appointment of Ruchir Godura as vice president, Global Customer Service and South Asia Sales. Over his career in India and North America, he has managed sales, customer service, and product management for a variety of communication technologies including WIMAX, CDMA, DSL, Metro Ethernet and IPTV. Most recently, Godura was CMO, Enterprise Services, at Bharti Airtel, India’s largest GSM operator. Godura holds a BS degree in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and a MS degree in computer science from the University of Delaware.

Acceleware Corp., a developer of high-performance computing applications, announced the appointment of Shawn Lorenz as its vice president of sales. With over 25 years of experience in the high tech industry, Lorenz will be responsible for growing the organization’s global sales initiatives for Acceleware’s acceleration solutions. Prior to joining Acceleware, Lorenz held executive and director level positions with several successful companies such as EMC/Documentum, Gigaspaces and Verity.

Auriga Measurement Systems LLC announced the hiring of Bruce L. Cohen as president and CEO. Cohen joins Auriga with more than 35 years of industry experience. He was one of the founders of Chipcom Corp. and was instrumental in leading the company to an annual rate of more than $300 M per year in 10 years. After Chipcom, Cohen was CEO of Novasoft Systems and Top Layer Networks.

Rep Appointments

Richardson Electronics Ltd. has signed a global distribution agreement with Crystek Corp. of Fort Myers, FL, to distribute its High Performance Frequency Line. Crystek’s products provide high performance frequency solutions needed in advanced applications, including cellular base stations, broadband communication infrastructure, military defense systems and industrial instrumentation equipment.

Sprague-Goodman Electronics Inc., Westbury, NY, has appointed two new sales representatives to market its line of trimmer capacitors, transformers, fixed and variable inductors and tuning tools throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Cain-Sweet Co., headquartered in Bellevue, WA, will represent the Sprague-Goodman product line in the Pacific Northwest and the Province of British Columbia. Dynamic Concepts, located in Ottawa, will cover the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.

Digi-Key Corp. and Artaflex have entered into a global agreement for the distribution of Artaflex’s WirelessUSB™ modules. Utilizing Cypress’ WirelessUSB radio system-on-a-chip devices, Artaflex’s modules are intended for industrial and home automation applications.

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