Industry News

The IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium’s (IRPS) 46th annual conference will feature new technical sessions and invited papers on the latest microelectronic reliability issues. This year’s IRPS takes place from April 27 through May 1, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix at Civic Plaza in Phoenix, AZ. Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving challenges in the microelectronics industry, the IRPS introduces new sessions this year in nanoelectronic device reliability and thin film devices. Other key topics include assembly, interconnects, extreme environments, failure analysis, products and circuits, MEMS, memory, dielectrics (including transistor High-K), transistor, process integration, compound devices, soft-error rate (SER), electro-static discharge (ESD) and latch-up. This year’s technical program includes a record number of papers; more than 160 have been accepted for platform and poster presentations.

RF Micro Devices announced the completion of its acquisition of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Filtronic PLC. Under the terms of the transaction, RFMD paid an acquisition price of approximately £12.5 M in cash for Filtronic Compound Semiconductors. The acquisition price included the purchase of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ six-inch GaAs wafer fabrication facility at Newton Aycliffe, United Kingdom, and the purchase of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ millimeter-wave RF semiconductor business. RFMD expects the addition of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ high-volume GaAs fab will significantly reduce RFMD’s GaAs pHEMT manufacturing costs and provide incremental GaAs manufacturing capacity sufficient to support near-term anticipated growth. Additionally, RFMD expects the addition of Filtronic Compound Semiconductors’ microwave and millimeter-wave component business will strengthen the product portfolio of RFMD’s Multi-Market Products Group (MPG) and be accretive to RFMD’s target margin profile for its multi-market business.

Pendulum Instruments, Stockholm, Sweden, announced the acquisition of Rapco Electronics Ltd., a test and measurement company in Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK, specializing in high-precision time and frequency standards generation and distribution. Pendulum Instruments acquires all assets and operation of the privately owned Rapco company, by purchasing all outstanding shares. Rapco develops and produces precision time and frequency products, mainly for use by governmental, military, telecom, broadcasting and scientific customers. The product portfolio comprises high accuracy GPS-controlled master clocks, portable GPS-controlled frequency standards, time code generators, frequency and time-code distribution systems. Harald Kruger, Pendulum Instruments’ CEO, says, “The inclusion of the Rapco product line with Pendulum Instrument’s world-leading range of time and frequency products will strengthen our product portfolio and fill some gaps in the current program. The Rapco products fit perfectly in our worldwide distribution network.”

Planar Monolithics Industries (PMI) announced its merger with Planar Electronics Technology (PET) and Planar Filter Co. (PFC). The synergy between these three Frederick, Maryland-based corporations enables the offering of upgraded hybrid MIC/MMIC RF and microwave components, subsystems and systems to their customers, as well as enhancing their ability to support major military and defense contractors.

Microwave Communications Laboratories Inc. (MCLI), St. Petersburg, FL, announced that it has successfully acquired its ISO9001:2000 Quality Certification. MCLI has been independently audited by SAI Global and assigned the Certification Number: QEC15974. This certification comes at a time when MCLI is celebrating it 20th anniversary as a manufacturer of precision RF components.

Compel Electronics SpA, Milan, Italy, a designer and manufacturer of interconnection systems and cable assemblies, celebrated the 10th anniversary of Compel Electronics GmbH, the company’s German branch. Compel Electronics GmbH was set up in 1998 due to Compel Electronics SpA’s need to develop and consolidate its presence in the interconnection market in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the years, Compel Electronics GmbH has established a series of important partnerships, such as with MP Systems, a Norwegian-based company, set up over 40 years ago that specializes in the development of Flexi-Racks and accessories, and Response Microwave, a Boston, MA-based company.

AAE Systems Inc. announced that it has expanded its operations with the opening of an office in India to provide regional sales, engineering and customer support. AAE says that it is confident that the geographic proximity of the new office to South Asia customers, seeking local engineering design and support services, will create even further business opportunities. The majority of the systems engineering design personnel will remain at AAE’s headquarters in the US. Corporate functions, research and development, and manufacturing of AAE’s Eclipse Digital Satellite Router product family will also remain at AAE’s headquarters.

Talley Communications Corp. announced the opening of a new warehouse and sales facility in Dallas, TX. The new facility will expand Talley’s logistic footprint to seven locations. This facility’s primary focus will be to service contractors and carriers in the south central region of the United States. Andrew as well as CommScope cable and accessories will be stocked along with all necessary site hardware including tower steel, components and consumables.

LPKF Laser & Electronics has expanded its North American headquarters and moved to Tualatin, OR. The 18,000 sq. ft. space features administrative offices, a warehouse and product demonstration rooms. The expansion will help support the company’s ongoing growth and help to further better service the company’s North American customer base.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. announced that STMicroelectronics has successfully taped out its newest leading-edge mobile multimedia Nomadik platform using the Cadence Incisive Enterprise verification family. The advanced verification solution for verification engineers included the Incisive Specman Elite Testbench and Incisive Enterprise Manager, a powerful combination of technology within the Plan-to-Closure Methodology for automating the verification process. The STMicroelectronics Nomadik family of multimedia application processor chips enables portable devices to play music, take pictures, record video and host two-way video communication in real time. Many of ST’s latest networking designs include ARM-based cores and use the internal STBus for much of the underlying infrastructure.

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced a comprehensive solution for monitoring and troubleshooting new mobile soft switch (MSS) networks and the Voice over IP (VoIP) services they deliver. Agilent’s enhanced QoS analyzer and session trace applications further extend the assureME application portfolio by simplifying the process of managing MSS networks. Network and service quality is ensured through rapid identification and analysis of potential issues, and in-depth troubleshooting for early problem resolution. Deploying mobile soft switches is a critical step to ensure that mobile operators remain competitive in their key service, voice telephony. The solution enables mobile operators to track a new extensive set of key performance indicators (KPIs), including voice quality, to manage soft switch infrastructure, and to deliver an acceptable service experience./p>


Mercury Computer Systems Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Mercury Federal Systems Inc., has received a $2.5 M contract award from the US Army Ft. Monmouth’s CECOM in New Jersey, for development and demonstration of a testbed to support the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) program. The testbed will be used by the US Government to develop and test advanced open-architecture technology for counter-IED systems development. Mercury also announced a related agreement with ITT Electronic Systems to demonstrate algorithm component portability for the JCREW testbed architecture, which is an important element of the R&D objectives of the program.

nGimat has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award from the US Navy to prototype a low cost, miniaturized tunable filter for use in X-band active electronically steered antenna (AESA) array-based radar systems. This is a two-year contract with a funding of $750,000. “We have developed an X-band tunable filter with a steep roll-off (> 30 dB at ±10% fo), as well as moderate tunability and loss,” said Zhiyong Zhao, program manager for nGimat. “We will further perfect the design and improve the materials and processing, and a fully functional device will be delivered to the Navy by the end of Phase II.”

TRAK Microwave, a Smiths Interconnect business, and University of South Florida (USF), College of Electrical Engineering, have jointly won a full matching grant from the Florida High Technology Corridor program. The grant sponsors research programs aimed at “Measuring and Modeling of Phase Noise Conversion in Amplifiers and Frequency Multipliers.” This is the second phase of the project started several years ago to advance the test, measurement and modeling relationships between 1/f noise and phase noise conversion in active microwave and millimeter-wave circuits.

Tyco Electronics announced it has received a $2 M contract award from Raytheon Missile Systems to produce products for Raytheon’s precision-guided, long-range Excalibur artillery projectile. Tyco Electronics will produce M/A-COM telemetry transmitter modules, Global Positioning System (GPS) antennas and telemetry antennas to support Excalibur and contribute to the projectile’s accuracy in both urban and complex terrain and reduce collateral damage.

Eutelsat Communications has awarded Thales Alenia Space the contract for the W3B communications satellite. As prime contractor, the company will be in charge of the design, manufacturing, test and delivery of the satellite. Planned for a launch during the second quarter of 2010, the satellite will provide broadcast and telecommunications services over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Designed with a lifetime of more than 15 years, W3B will provide three Ka-band and 53 Ku-band transponders. It will be equipped with three deployable and two fixed antennas, have a maximum launch mass of 5.4 tons and will deliver more than 12 kW of electrical power at the end of life.

Following Thailand’s purchase of an integrated air surveillance system from Sweden in a government to government deal, FMV, the Swedish Defense Material Administration, has placed a contract with Saab valued at $310 M for the development and production of the systems. Deliveries will take place during 2011. The order comprises six Gripen fighters of the C/D version, two Saab 340 aircraft, of which one will be equipped with the company’s radar surveillance system Erieye, and associated equipment and services. Also included in the agreement is a command and control system, which will be the link between the Erieye system and the Gripen fighters. The complete system will be used for air surveillance and protection of Thailand’s territory./p>


Tony Belotis, co-founder of GT Microwave, passed away on February 20, 2008. A proud US Navy veteran, and a member of the Association of Old Crows, Belotis had worked at CTI, Triangle, Merrimac, AT&T and Flexco prior to starting GT Microwave.

Roberto Pinto da Silva, formerly vice president of sales for Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) Latin America since 2005, has replaced Luis Antonio Alves de Oliveira as president of RFS Brazil. Oliveira leaves RFS to pursue new endeavors outside the telecom industry. RFS Brazil’s new president counts more than 30 years of experience in the technology business. Over 26 years, Pinto rose through the ranks of IBM and gained responsibility for the company’s entire line of medium-sized computers in Brazil. He oversaw the development of many business partnerships, including joint ventures, as well as technology and production licenses. In 1998, he was hired by Allen Telecommunications of Dallas, TX, to coordinate and implement the launch of the company’s production and sales operations in all of South America. Pinto’s international expertise is the result of his five-year tenure in the United States (where he acted as a technical liaison, business negotiator and training expert), coupled with his extensive travels in Europe, Asia and South America.

Orbit’s board of directors has appointed Ehud Netzer as president and CEO of Orbit Technology Group. Prior to joining Orbit, Netzer held the position of vice president and head of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems division, the second largest division with over 1000 employees. During this period, the sales of the division increased by 20% annually. Previously, Netzer held senior positions at Rafael, including: head of naval systems, intelligence and EW, head of the naval combat systems line, and head of the dynamics and control section. In addition, he served as director for Opgal, a subsidiary of Rafael and Elbit Systems. Netzer holds a PhD degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and BA and MSc degrees in mechanical engineering from Technion University in Israel. Netzer has also participated in the advanced management program at Harvard Business School. He replaces Shlomo Yariv, who was Orbit’s president and CEO since 2003.

Strategy Analytics announced the promotion of Chris Ambrosio to executive director, wireless practice. Ambrosio’s experience is focused on device manufacturer issues in the areas of strategic business planning, market assessment and competitive analysis. In addition to his experience working with top global handset suppliers, he has also worked intensively with service providers, semiconductor vendors and software suppliers in areas of cellular product planning and enabling technologies assessments.

Rohde & Schwarz announced that Jack Cowper has been appointed president and COO of Rohde & Schwarz Inc., reporting to CEO Wolfgang Schmittseifer. He will also retain the position of president of Rohde & Schwarz, Canada, which he has held since June 2007. In his new position, he will be responsible for all operational areas of Rohde & Schwarz in North America. Cowper has more than 15 years of experience in the test and measurement industry. He joined Rohde & Schwarz in 2000 and has served as marketing manager, director of marketing and as vice president during his tenure with the company. Before joining Rohde & Schwarz, Cowper served in product and strategic marketing, and corporate management positions at Tektronix and Applied Microsystems. He received his BSEE degree from Pennsylvania State University, his MBA degree from the University of Oregon, and has completed the Harvard University Program for Management Development.

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. Godura brings over 14 years of experience in the telecom industry to Aperto. 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. Before Airtel, Godura helped establish the WiMAX business at Telsima as head of worldwide sales. Prior to that, he spent nearly nine years with UTStarcom, setting up the company’s global customer support services in New Jersey before moving to India to lead its South Asia operations. 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.

Technical Communities, a service provider for technical organizations that sell to US government agencies, military organizations and prime federal contractors, announced that Jeremiah Cunningham is joining the company as a vice president, business development. Cunningham, who will be based in Technical Communities’ Washington, DC regional office in Herndon, VA, comes to Technical Communities from CDW-G, where he was the director of strategic sales. As a vice president, business development, Cunningham will assume responsibility for a strategic approach to the company’s continued business expansion of GSA distribution of IT products and services. He will be directly responsible for the establishment of agreements between Technical Communities and manufacturers as well as ongoing sales strategy.

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., a supplier of RF-CMOS and mixed-signal communications ICs, announced the appointment of former Qualcomm executive Jeffrey Belk to its board of directors. Belk brings a wealth of industry experience to Peregrine’s Board from his 14-year tenure at Qualcomm, where he held a variety of senior management positions, including his most recent role as senior vice president of strategy and market development. In this position, Belk examined changes in the wireless ecosystem and formulated approaches to help accelerate mobile broadband adoption and growth.

Rep Appointments

Aethercomm Inc. appointed Rick Biggs, BA-Sales, Denton, TX, as its exclusive sales representative covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. BA-Sales will represent and support Aethercomm’s entire product line offering. BA-Sales can be reached at (972) 679-5871,

Allied Electronics, a subsidiary of Electrocomponents plc, has signed an agreement to distribute Quest Technology’s new LightStar fiber optic products. Allied is currently the exclusive catalog distributor of Quest’s entire LightStar product line, which features new epoxyless field-terminated fiber optic connectors featuring patented impact mount technology.

Sprague-Goodman Electronics Inc. has appointed JLF Engineering Inc., Spencer, MA, to represent its line of trimmer capacitors, transformers, fixed and variable inductors and tuning tools in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. JLF represents a wide selection of RF/microwave products and companies throughout the Northeast. Contact JLF Engineering at (508) 769-5035,

MU-DEL Electronics Inc. has signed two new representatives to market its RF multicouplers, RF frequency converters, RF switching distribution systems and specialized RF products. Kelley Systems Co. (KSC), Lake Guntersville, AL, will be supporting MU-DEL in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi. Contact KSC at (256) 582-8677. Tech Marketing Associates Inc. (TMC), Mountain View, CA, will be supporting MU-DEL in Northern California and northern Nevada. Contact TMA at (408) 736-3687 or (650) 968-0102.

The Evans Capacitor Co. has engaged René Terrien of Firadec, St.-Nazaire, France, to represent its products in Europe. Representing a full line of capacitors, Terrien brings a breadth of experience to capacitor design and selection. Contact him at +33 2 40 01 26 51 or