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Industry News

Around the Circuit

May 1, 2009
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Industry News

Cobham announced that it has sold M/A-COM Technology Solutions (MTS) to John Ocampo for $30 M in cash, $30 M in senior loan notes secured on the MTS assets and $30 M dependent on future revenue in the period 2010 to 2012. The loan notes carry a rate of interest of 7.5 percent, which increases over time, and they are repayable in two equal tranches in December 2011 and 2012. There are no conditions to closing and the transaction has been completed, the company said. At the time of the acquisition of M/A-COM on May 13, 2008, Cobham said it planned to divest the commercial business segment MTS, as it was not core to the group’s strategy. Excluded from the sale are cash and the freehold of the Walker Building in Lowell, MA, valued at $10 M.


Micronetics Inc. announced it has acquired the pedestal and forklift mounted radio frequency identification (RFID) product line of M/A-COM RFID Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Cobham plc. RFID is a wireless identification technology that is being adopted by certain leading commercial retailers and the Department of Defense (DoD) to track inventory.

Aeroflex has announced it is expanding its communications test capabilities with the strategic acquisition of VI Technology Inc., a provider of integrated baseband test solutions, specializing in audio, video and multimedia test.

Paratek announced that the company has completed a transaction involving the purchase by Paratek of Gennum’s barium strontium titanate (BST) technology group and its associated assets. Paratek has developed a proprietary form of BST, ParaScanTM, as a leading RF tuning component technology for mobile handsets. The transaction augments an agreement with STMicroelectronics announced in January 2009. That relationship advances the next generation of Paratek’s ParaScan materials technology for high volume manufacturing and establishes a program to jointly develop tunable products that improve Total Radiated Power (TRP) for mobile phones, leading to longer battery life and fewer dropped calls for mobile handsets. Initial production of the RF tuning components will take place at STMicroelectronics’ fabrication facility in Tours, France by the end of 2009.

Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI), a producer of commercial off-the-shelf software for integrated analysis of space, defense and intelligence assets, announced its new partnership with Remcom, a provider of electromagnetic simulation software products. AGI is extending its STK/Communications software with Remcom’s rapid urban propagation models. The combination will model how mobile ad-hoc network performance influences net-centric intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations in urban terrain. Release is scheduled for fall 2009.

Aeroflex has announced an agreement with Icom Inc. to provide automated test and alignment capa bilities for Icom radios on the Aeroflex 3920 Digital Radio Test Set. Initial test capabilities will be focused on the IC-F9010/F9510 APCO Project 25 Conventional and Trunked Radios and the IC-F4029SDR Series dPMR Portable Digital Radios. The test programs will be expanded to include Icom’s IDASTM Series NXDNTM compatible radios and D-STAR digital amateur radios.

Harris Stratex Networks Inc., a specialist in backhaul solutions for mobility and broadband networks, announced that the Harris Board of Directors has approved the spin-off to Harris shareholders of its majority position in the company. Harris Corp. announced December 8, 2008, that it was evaluating strategic alternatives related to Harris Stratex Networks, which was formed January 26, 2007, through the combination of Harris Corp.’s Microwave Communications Division and Stratex Networks Inc.

European Antennas is now trading as Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas. The change follows the announcement by Cobham that all their companies will adopt the refreshed Cobham image and trade under the Cobham brand. The new name is a brand only and operations are still carried out under the company name of European Antennas Ltd. so existing approvals and export documentation are valid. Orders and accounting details should be addressed Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas; however, any paperwork addressed to European Antennas will still be valid. Specific agreements that need to be updated will be addressed on a case by case basis, where appropriate.

Auriga Measurement Systems LLC and WIN Semiconductors announced their modeling collaboration for the release of WIN’s new Ku- and Ka-band GaAs PHEMT process. Auriga’s nonlinear Large Signal Model (LS6) will be offered and distributed by WIN to its PP-25 customers. The models were validated against load-pull measurements and accurately represent small and large signal transistor performance. In related news, WIN Semiconductors announced that is has opened FAB B in Taiwan. Co-located in the Hwaya Technology Park with FAB A will offer cost-effective synergy in operations. FAB B capacity of 5K Wafer Per Month (WPM) in addition to the existing FAB A operating capacity of 7K WPM will offer WIN customers surety of supply.

Three prominent technology design, development and testing businesses, ERA Technology, Culham Lightning and Vector Fields have been brought together under the new name of Cobham Technical Services as part of a group wide rebranding programme by FTSE 100 parent company Cobham plc. Cobham plc has revenue of £1.5 B and employs more than 12,500 people worldwide on five continents, with customers in over 100 countries. In the past, individually branded business units have provided products and services to primarily aerospace and defence customers, many of whom have been unaware of the breadth of capabilities available to them from across Cobham. The unification of all businesses under a single unified brand is designed to make it easier for customers to understand the group and highlight the career opportunities available to current and future employees.

Privately-held Innovative Micro Technology (IMT) of Santa Barbara, CA, announced that it has formed a life sciences division focused on developing miniaturized products for the medical, diagnostics and research markets that employ micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). In conjunction with formation of the new division, the company also announced the appointment of James P. Linton, a 20-year veteran of the life sciences industry, as the division President.

AWR, a leader in high frequency electronic design automation (EDA), and the James Cook University (JCU) School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, announced that a comprehensive RF and microwave electronic engineering course developed by Associate Professor Keith Kikkert is now available free of charge to other universities worldwide. The course, which is based on AWR’s Microwave Office and Visual System SimulatorTM (VSS) design software, can be downloaded by qualified universities at the AWR website (www.awrcorp.com). Under terms of the agreement, AWR will distribute Associate Professor Kikkert’s Microwave Office-based course materials to electrical engineering programs worldwide, and Associate Professor Kikkert will keep the course material current as new versions of Microwave Office and VSS software are released.

A microcosm of the recently ISO 9001:2008 certified Litron, the Hermetic Laboratory has been making some strides of its own. In sync with the company goal of continuous improvement and living out the mission to serve as a true partner, the Hermetic Lab team has aimed to meet certain high standards. After thorough auditing from UniClean, the clean room has been formally ranked as a Class 10,000. In addition, BSI Management has again recognized the Lab as complying with ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007 Standard for the laser welding of static sensitive devices.

International Manufacturing Services Inc. (IMS) announced the company’s Therma-BridgeTM has won EN-Genius Network’s product of the year for the category of “Most Cost-Effective Cooling Technology”. The Therma-Bridge is a simple and cost-effective thermal management device that uses thermally-conductive Aluminum Nitride with metalized terminals to transport heat from one location to another, thus enhancing overall board performance.

Contracts

Communications & Power Industries Inc. (CPI) has received an approximately $13 M follow-on award from General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies to support Increment One of the US Army’s Warfighter Information Network Tactical (WIN-T) program. With this latest contract, CPI has received more than $26 M in total awards from General Dynamics to support the WIN-T program. CPI, a subsidiary of CPI International Inc., is a provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications.

Micronetics Inc. announced that its New Jersey-based subsidiary, Microwave Concepts (Micro-Con), has received advanced funding of approximately $5 M from a major defense OEM for highly integrated microwave subassemblies. These subassemblies are used as part of a complex jamming system. In addition to this advanced funding, full funding of production quantities is expected within 90 days. The anticipated period of performance on this program is approximately 24 months.

TRAK Microwave, a Smiths Interconnect business, announced the award of several contracts from multiple customers for integrated microwave assemblies (IMA) and high performance RF mixers in support of ongoing production of the Eurofighter (EFA) aircraft. The contracts in total are valued in excess of $2.1 M USD. These contracts support the EFA Tranche 2 and SALAAM programs.

Vida Products, a four-person Santa Rosa, CA company, has won a Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a key component of a satellite constellation NASA will use to assess global warming. The small business grants are phased, with an initial $100,000 going toward a proposal for Phase II, which brings an additional $690,000 or more for the development and testing of hardware. Phase III, for an unspecified amount, takes the hardware to production.

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD®), a leader in the design and manufacture of high performance semiconductor components, announced that the company has been selected by a leading manufacturer of smartphones to supply its high performance RF1450 single-pole four-throw (SP4T) switch into an upcoming multi-featured CDMA smartphone device. RFMD’s RF1450 will operate as the antenna switch in the CDMA smartphone and was selected over a competing part due to its robust performance and superior linearity. The dual-band CDMA smartphone is expected to launch in the second half of calendar 2009 and target the consumer smartphone market.

Personnel

American Microwave Corp. (AMC), a supplier of active microwave products since 1978, announced the appointment of John Guenard as Director of Sales and Marketing. Guenard will focus his nearly 25 years of experience in the microwave industry on expanding the market awareness of AMC’s standard and custom switch, attenuator, DLVA and subsystem capability.

Valpey Fisher Corp. announced that John Fortune has joined the company as North America Director of Sales and Marketing. Fortune is a veteran in the frequency control industry having held sales, strategic account and product manager positions at Vectron International and Zarlink Semiconductor. Prior to that, Fortune held marketing and engineering positions at Toshiba and Digital Equipment Corp.

Rep Appointments

Technical Communities announced a new exclusive government services partnership agreement with Centellax Inc., a manufacturer of low cost, high performance components and test solutions. The agreement authorizes Technical Communities to distribute Centellax products, including PRBS pattern generators, bit error rate testers (BERT), clock recovery modules and units, clock synthesizers, system power amplifiers, modulator driver modules, band multipliers, amplifier modules, frequent dividers and prescalers. More product information is available at centellax.gsamart.com.

Mouser Electronics Inc. announced it is stocking the MC13224V advanced ZigBeeTM compliant Platform-in-Package and development tools from Freescale Semiconductor, an industry leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the wireless, networking, automotive, consumer and industrial markets.

AtlanTecRF, the UK-based manufacturer of microwave and RF components and equipment, has appointed its first distributor in North America. Amawave of Ocean-side, CA will stock the company’s range of coaxial passives including attenuators, terminations, power dividers and directional couplers for distribution to customers throughout the United States and Canada. The company’s range of passives are form-fit-function compatible to many of the industry’s most popular and widely used products and delivery from stock within the US is seen as a distinct advantage for customers who are already using and designing in the AtlanTecRF brand.

Web Updates

Response Microwave Inc., a global specialist in providing RF/microwave customer solutions, announced the launch of its new website selection guide. The new site has migrated to a products focus and provides an overview of corporate capabilities and selection tables of the company’s passive component and connectivity product offering that covers DC to 60 GHz. The site also offers application notes on the company’s HYBRIDLINE series of drop-in quad hybrids and couplers. For more information, visit www.responsemicrowave.com.

Lark Engineering now offers an easy to use Online Filter Design tool that enables system engineers to quickly and accurately determine the correct filter for their application. For more information, visit www.larkengineering.com/lark/IFD/idfmenu.htm.

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