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Industry News

Around the Circuit

September 18, 2008
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Industry News

Autoliv, the world’s largest maker of air bags and seat belts, announced it has agreed to buy the automotive radar sensors business of Tyco Electronics for $42 M. This part of the business unit designs and manufactures active radar proximity and attribute sensor systems used in vehicle driver assist and safety applications for the global automotive market. Based in Lowell, MA, US, and Schweinfurt, Germany, the business includes approximately 115 employees. It is Autoliv’s expectation that the sales of the acquired business will approach $100 M within three years. In 2009, Autoliv expects the business will have an accretive earnings per share effect and should be accretive to operating margin and return on capital in 2010. Autoliv said it expected the deal to close by the end of this month.

CAD Design Software, a supplier of new technology EDA layout tools, and CADParts & Consulting, a provider of PCB design services, announced that CADParts & Consulting has entered into a VAR agreement with CAD Design Software to sell and support CAD Design Software’s line of design and layout tools, with a focus on PCB, RF/microwave, flex and hybrid/MCM (LTCC) technologies. Additionally, CADParts & Consulting is integrating several seats of CAD Design Software’s Electronics Packaging Designer (EPD) into its development flow to further support their design customers.


COM DEV International, a global designer and manufacturer of space hardware subsystems, announced it has opened a new state-of-the-art engineering and production facility in El Segundo, CA. The 46,000 sq. ft. COM DEV USA (CDU) headquarters is located at 2333 Utah Avenue in El Segundo, CA. Currently, 100 employees have been assembled to support the design, production and testing of space hardware. Company representatives estimate that a total of 200 new jobs will ultimately be created as a result of the new facility.

The enhanced capabilities of a new global satellite communications (SATCOM) system were successfully tested recently by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, representing a major step forward in improving communications among US Department of Defense commands around the world. In March, Lincoln Laboratory completed its portion of the on-orbit testing of the first Widespread Global Satellite Communications (WGS) system, a constellation of geosynchronous satellites orbiting 22,300 miles above the equator, which provides worldwide high-capacity military satellite communication capabilities. The WGS system improves upon the X-band capability (between 7 and 9 GHz) of the current Defense Satellite Communications system to include “Ka-band” service (30 GHz ground to satellite, 20 GHz satellite to ground). These sophisticated new broadcast capabilities were tested in orbit by a ground-based Large Aperture Ka-band Test Terminal (LAKaTT), developed by Lincoln Laboratory.

MTNet, the CDMA Certification Forum (CCF) accredited conformance test lab established within the Ministry of Information Industries of the People’s Republic of China, has standardized on the Aeroflex 6402 AIME CDMA test platform for 1xEV-DO Rev A and A-GPS testing. MTNet selected Aeroflex following a recent public tender to upgrade its CDMA test capability to include 1xEV-DO Rev A protocol testing as well as A-GPS protocol and minimum performance testing.

Lenthor Engineering, a California-based designer, manufacturer and assembler of RIGID-FLEX and FLEX printed circuit boards, announced the successful completion of its Lockheed Martin corporate audit resulting in Lenthor Engineering’s approval for and addition to the Lockheed Martin corporate AVL. This approval solidifies Lenthor Engineering’s position as a strategic defense industry supplier of flex and rigid-flex fabrication and assembly.

Contracts

Alion Science and Technology, an employee-owned technology solutions provider, has been awarded a $7 M contract to perform a wide range of RF spectrum services at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The three-year contract was awarded by the Defense Technical Information Center through the Modeling and Simulation Information Analysis Center (MSIAC). Under the contract statement of work, any NOAA office can utilize Alion’s expertise in RF propagation, satellite orbital dynamics, RF spectrum management, RF systems testing and specifications, antenna siting and analysis, and other areas that support RF.

Endwave Corp., a provider of high frequency RF modules for telecommunications networks, defense electronics and homeland security systems, announced the award of an 18-month production contract from the Boeing Co. to supply broadband frequency converters used in the modernization of the United States Air Force’s Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) 3035 system. AWACS provides survivable airborne surveillance, command, control and communications functions and early warning detection and tracking of low-level targets at extended ranges over land and water.

OEwaves Inc. has been awarded a contract by DARPA to develop a multi-function and reduced SWAP optical SIGINT receiver prototype that will significantly improve system configurability and platform compatibility for future SIGINT and EW systems. OEwaves will develop the photonic receiver front-end, and in collaboration with ITT, demonstrate the receiver system that will meet the stringent performance and SWAP requirements in the DARPA contract.

LadyBug Technologies LLC announced that the company has received additional, follow-on orders from the US Government for its PowerSensor+™ line of miniaturized USB power meter-sensors. The most recent orders included LadyBug models LB479A and LB579A.

Financial News

RF Micro Devices Inc. reports sales of $240.5 M for the fiscal 2009 first quarter ended June 28, 2008, compared to $211.6 M for the same period in fiscal 2008. Net loss was $24.1 M ($0.09/per diluted share), compared to a net income of $23.6 M ($0.11/per diluted share) for the first quarter of last year.

Mimix Broadband Inc., a fabless semiconductor company, announced that it has secured $10 M of additional investment in its fourth round of institutional financing. The investment from GaAs Labs and participation in the round by existing investors will allow Mimix to pay off debt and provide working capital to the company for further growth in the diversified microwave and millimeter-wave marketplace.

New Market Entry

AmpTech Inc. announced availability of contract manufacturing foundry services at the company’s fabrication facility in Milpitas, CA. The company offers Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Indium Phosphide (InP) processes targeted for RFIC and Optoelectronics applications. AmpTech operates a four-inch wafer fabrication line in a 15,000 square foot clean room within the company’s headquarters facility. AmpTech has production-qualified processes for GaAs MESFETs and InGaP HBTs.

Personal

Ansoft Corp. founder, chairman and chief technology officer Zoltan Cendes received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antennas and Propagation Society (AP-S) Distinguished Achievement Award. The award, given to Cendes for his “contributions to the widespread use of user-friendly software tools for electromagnetic analysis and design,” recognizes outstanding career achievements by an individual in the field of antennas and propagation. In addition to his responsibilities at Ansoft, Cendes is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA.

TriQuint Semiconductor announced that Steven R. Grant has joined the company as vice president of worldwide operations. Grant will be responsible for TriQuint’s global manufacturing including purchasing, manufacturing quality and supply chain operations. Grant, who spent the last 27 years at Intel Corp., was most recently vice president of Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group in Oregon. During his Intel tenure, he managed the Fab manufacturing network and was key to driving the manufacturing structure and efficiency improvements to record performance levels.

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) has appointed Eric Mariette to the key role of vice president of global marketing and strategy. Mariette assumes responsibility for ensuring that RFS’s comprehensive portfolio of RF solutions is fully visible to the global wireless sector, and that the company’s rapidly expanding solution-set meets the varied demands of the industry. Mariette comes to RFS with 20 years’ experience in sales, marketing and business operations in the telecommunications and IT sector, a great many of those years with communications solutions group, Alcatel-Lucent.

Tampa Microwave, a designer and manufacturer of RF and microwave communications and test equipment for various commercial and government applications, announced the appointment of Obie Johnson as vice president of new business development. Johnson will have responsibility for product marketing in addition to domestic sales development, key account support and management of the sales representative network. Prior to joining Tampa Microwave, Johnson was president of Intelligent Systems, Solutions and Services, St. Petersburg, FL.

Ducommun Technologies (DTI) announced that Tommaso Pusateri has joined its team as director of business development-millimeter products. He will be responsible for the global sales and marketing of the millimeter-wave products for DTI. Pusateri has a broad background in millimeter-wave technology with extensive experience in military applications, satellites, commercial communications, avionics, RF microwave and electronics markets. He was most recently with Crane Aerospace and Electronics in Chandler, AZ, as the company’s director of business development where he was responsible for millimeter-wave sales and strategy.

Smiths Interconnect, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, announced the addition of Bob Betz to its sales and marketing staff as senior applications engineer. Betz brings over 25 years of industry-related connector experience to Sabritec. His expertise is in the area of fiber optics, flex PCB termination, technical support and sales application engineering. Most recently, Betz was the regional sales manager for a major military aerospace connector manufacturer in southern California. Betz will be working closely with the company’s customers and sales representatives to further strengthen its high speed copper, fiber optic, filtered and non-filtered multi-pin connector product lines. Betz can be reached by phone at (949) 250-1244 or e-mail: bbetz@sabritec.com.

Rep Appointments

Digi-Key Corp. and Laird Technologies announced that the companies have entered into a global distribution agreement. Laird Technologies products stocked by Digi-Key are featured in its print and on-line catalogs and are available for purchase directly from Digi-Key. The terms of this new distribution agreement will enable Digi-Key to fulfill the prototype as well as the production quantity needs of its very diverse customer base.

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Yosun, a major Asian distributor of electronic components. Under the terms of the agreement, Yosun will carry the complete line card of Vishay semiconductor and passive components, with the exception of foil resistors.

Computer Simulation Technology (CST) has appointed AgetoMTT as the company’s sales representatives in Scandinavia. With offices in Sweden and Finland, AgetoMTT currently represents over 38 manufacturers within the field of RF and microwave products and services and will be utilizing its expert local sales and support to distribute CST’s products in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

ClearComm Technologies LLC announced the appointment of Conifer RF Sales headquartered in Olympia, WA. Conifer RF will cover the entire states of Washington and Oregon. This group brings a broad experience and complimentary products to ClearComm. ClearComm is a manufacturer of filters, duplexers, diplexers and RF assemblies covering the frequency range of 10 MHz to 18 GHz. Contact Conifer RF Sales at (360) 350-4720, e-mail: mark@coniferrf.com or visit www.coniferrf.com. To reach ClearComm Technologies, call (410) 860-0500 or e-mail: sales@clearcommtech.com.

California Eastern Laboratories (CEL) has signed Amtele AB to represent its growing line of ZigBee/IEEE802.15.4 radio modules. Based in Stockholm, Amtele will be the exclusive source for these CEL products throughout Sweden, Finland and the Baltics.

W.L. Gore & Associates, a leader in providing innovative technology solutions for the electronics industry, will supply GORE™ Camera Link® High Flex Flat Cable for use in Infini Flex™ Cable Assemblies manufactured by Intercon 1, a division of Nortech Systems Inc., and major global supplier of machine vision analog and digital video cable assemblies. Intercon 1 will be an exclusive reseller in North America and Europe for GORE Camera Link High Flex Flat Cables.

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., a supplier of high performance RF CMOS and mixed-signal communications ICs, announced that it has signed RichPower Electronic Devices Co. Ltd., a member of WPG Holdings, to market and sell Peregrine’s line of UltraCMOS™ RFICs throughout the Asia Pacific region, including Taiwan, China, Korea, India and the ASEAN.

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