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Industry News

Around the Circuit

February 7, 2005
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Industry News

Agilent Technologies, Boeblingen, Germany, announced its 100th design win for its film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) duplexer and full band transmit filter. These devices are designed into nine of the 10 code division multiple access (CDMA) phone manufacturers’ handsets for the US market. The Agilent ACMD-7401 duplexer is 1.4 ¥ 5.0 ¥ 5.0 mm. and the Agilent ACPF-7401 full-band transmit filter is 1.0 ¥ 1.6 ¥ 2.0 mm.


Advanced Power Technology Inc., a supplier of power semiconductors, announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire PowerSicel Inc., a Colorado-based company focused on RF power utilizing silicon carbide. The purchase provides APT with a center for technological innovation excellence for compound semiconductors, starting with silicon carbide, as well as significant development capability for commercial devices utilizing currently available compound semiconductor technologies. The products to be developed will address target applications in RF power such as avionics, radar, broadcast, communication and wireless communications as well as applications in power switching such as power conversion and motor drives.

Eagleware Corp., Norcross, GA, a supplier of high frequency design software for the RF and microwave industry, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Elanix Inc., Westlake Village, CA, an electronic-system level (ESL) design tool provider, for an undisclosed sum. The agreement has been approved by Elanix shareholders and the Eagleware board of directors. The acquisition expands customers’ design options for improving power, speed and accuracy by adding signal processing design software that models the behavior and performance of communication and DSP systems to Eagleware’s existing portfolio of high frequency simulation, analysis and synthesis software.

The Siemens Communications Group has signed an agreement to acquire Chantry Networks. Headquartered in the US, with a product development center in Canada, the company is a provider of technology for secure and mobility-enabled wireless networks. With this agreement Siemens is expanding its expertise within the HiPath portfolio to the rapidly growing WLAN market. The agreement is expected to result in the closing of the transaction in early 2005. Chantry Networks offers solutions for the wireless convergence of voice and data transmission, particularly in the fields of seamless transfer between access points and voice quality, where it has the very latest in state-of-the-art products.

For a total investment on approximately $1 billion, Infineon Technologies will build a new front-end production plant in Kulim High Tech Park, Malaysia. The facility will mainly produce power and logic chips used in industrial power and automotive applications. Groundbreaking is planned for early 2005, ramp-up is scheduled for 2006 and at full capacity the facility will employ approximately 1700 people. The new plant complements Infineon’s already existing production sites for non-memory products in Munich-Perlach, Regensburg, Villach and Dresden, as well as Altis Semiconductors, a joint venture with IBM in Essonnes, France.

M/A-COM, a business unit of Tyco Electronics, is manufacturing ThingMagic’s Mercury4™ RFID readers, including: ThingMagic’s Mercury4,“ ThingMagic’s fourth generation fixed agile reader, which was launched in June; ThingMagic’s Mercury4e,“ launched in September, an embedded version of the fixed Mercury4 reader designed to provide high powered, agile RFID capability to label printers, print and supply machines, and other systems that are required to read and write singulated RFID tags of any protocol at high speed; and ThingMagic’s Mercury4h,“ a handheld RFID reader designed for handheld devices including portable data terminals (PDT), personal digital assistants (PDA), portable scanners and other wireless data equipment that require the ability to read RFID tags at the highest speeds and at the longest read ranges. ThingMagic’s Mercury4 RFID reader technology supports both multiple protocols and multiple antennas, and uses advanced software-defined radio technology to read any tag, including all variants of EPC Class 1 and 0, as well as Matrics® 0+, ISO 1800-6B and Phillips UCODE 1.19, with no compromise in performance. The readers’ unique software architecture also allows remote software upgrades for new protocols, including the forthcoming EPC Generation 2.

The LXI Consortium announced tremendous industry response to the initial open membership held in mid-November 2004. The meeting was attended by over 20 industry test and measurement corporations from the US, Europe and Asia. The membership is now at 14 companies only a month from inception, with additional membership commitments expected. The membership includes Aeroflex, Agilent Technologies, Analogic, Bruel & Kjaer, Complete Networks, Elgar Electronics Corp., IOTech, Keithly Instruments Corp., Phase Matrix, Pickering Interfaces, Teradyne and VXI Technology. Technical and marketing committees were formed during the meeting with a planned formal specification release during the first quarter of 2005.

Andrew Corp. has been named supplier of the year and the recipient of the Impact Award, the highest honor given to a Lucent Technologies vendor during 2004. Andrew was also one of the top nine top suppliers selected as recipient of Lucent’s 2004 Golden Link Awards, presented at a recognition event held at Lucent’s headquarters in Murray Hill, NJ. The Golden Link Awards recognize significant contributions by vendors in key areas that include delivery, technology, value and overall relationship.

Palomar Technologies, an equipment designer and process developer for precision microelectronic assembly, announced an agreement to supply Fabrinet with optoelectronic and complex packaging assembly equipment to expand Fabrinet’s capabilities in volume assembly of terminal-active optoelectronic component and precision microelectronic packaging. Fabrinet is an engineering and electromechanical manufacturing services company specializing in the manufacture of complex assemblies.

WJ Communications has begun production deliveries of its new multi-protocol MPR 5000 and MPR 6000 RFID reader cards. Shipments of the MPR series units have been made to multiple customers including OEMs, end-users and value-added resellers who have placed production purchase orders through both WJ Communications and through distribution. The MPR series RFID reader cards have been granted an FCC certification allowing customers to integrate and use them without significant additional compliance testing or certification. They are also Type II PMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) compatible and operate with the EPCglobal Class 0/1 and the Class 0+ protocols. They are also upgradeable to UHF Gen 2 functionality via a software update.

RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD) announced volume production shipments of its POLARIS™ TOTAL RADIO™ GSM/GPRS/EDGE transceiver solution to Motorola for use in the recently introduced V551 and V547 EDGE (GSM/ GPRS/EDGE) handsets. The POLARIS 2 TOTAL RADIO solution is comprised of the company’s POLARIS 2 EDGE transceiver and Powerstar power amplifier module, which comprise a complete RF subsystem for cellular handsets.

RLC has been certified to ISO9001:2000 for the design and manufacture of standard and custom RF and microwave devices used in military and commercial applications.

Richardson Electronics, a global provider of engineered solutions for the RF and wireless communications, medical and security markets, announced the signing of an extended worldwide distribution partnership with Tyco Electronics, a supplier of power management and protection solutions including CoEv Magnetics, Transpower Technologies and Raychem Circuit Protection. Under the terms of the agreement, Richardson Electronics will have global distribution rights for Tyco’s latest A1029-A and A1029-B GPS receiver modules. These receiver modules will complement Richardson’s existing line of integrated circuits and provide its customers with complete engineered solutions.

Contracts

Aeroflex Inc. announced that its Wichita division has received orders aggregating $11.3 million for RCTS-001 SINGGARS Radio Test Sets and RCTS-003 Life Support Radio Test Sets from the US Government. These orders are expected to be shipped over a 14-month period beginning in May 2005.

MIMIX Broadband Inc. and Macquarie University have been awarded more than US$500K in research funding under the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage-Projects Scheme, which seeks to encourage and develop long-term strategic research alliances between higher education institutions and industries. The research focuses on the operation of transistors for emerging millimeter-wave applications, such as point-to-point communications and automotive radar. The aim is to develop circuit design methodologies that extract increased performance from a given fabrication process, thereby creating a competitive advantage. Transistor operating range, linearity and characterization will be enhanced. New models and demonstrator circuits will be produced, and the models integrated into commercially available microwave CAD systems.

Superconductor Technologies Inc., a producer of high temperature superconducting (HTS) products for wireless voice and data applications, announced that it has received a follow-on purchase agreement for a minimum of $7.5 M from a major North American wireless carrier. STI renewed its existing purchase agreement with the carrier, a long-standing customer, for the fourth year in a row, extending the term through the end of 2005. The carrier commited to purchase a minimum number of units from the Superlink™ and Superplex™ product families. Depending on the mix of products selected by the carrier, the contract is expected to generate minimum sales of $7.5 M to over $11 M. The contract takes effect immediately, but the company expects to deliver almost all of the units in 2005.

Financial News

Unity Wireless Corp. reports sales of $1 M for the third quarter ended September 30, 2004, compared to $108,590 for the same period in 2003. Net loss for the third quarter was $605,447, compared to a net loss of $1,063,320 for the same period in 2003.

Merrimac Industries Inc. reported the transfer of 475,000 shares of its common stock from Infineon Technologies AG to four purchasers, in a privately-negotiated transaction. In connection with the transaction, Merrimac and Infineon terminated the stock purchase and exclusivity letter agreement dated April 7, 2002, which provided that Merrimac would design, develop and produce exclusively for Infineon certain Multi-Mix products that incorporate active RF power transistors for use in certain wireless base station applications, television transmitters and certain other applications that are intended for Bluetooth transceivers.

Rohde & Schwarz reported a turnover of €940.8 million in fiscal 2003/2004, a growth of 8.4%. Incoming orders reached a new record €1.1 billion, an increase of 20%. The number of employees increased to 4500 in Germany and 6150 worldwide.

Crane Co. expected sales to grow 6% in 2005 to approximately $2 B. Earnings per share in 2005 are expected to be in the range of $2.05 to $2.15. Full year 2004 EPS, as previously provided, is expected to be in the range of $1.95 to $2.00 per share, before the company’s $4.02 per share non-cash charge for the asbestos and environmental settlements. Including the non-cash charge, full year 2004 EPS is expected to be a loss of $2.02 to $2.07 per share. Management noted that there will be challenges to achieving the lower end of its fourth quarter 2004 guidance range of $0.49 to $0.54 per share. Management expects free cash flow (cash flow from operations after capital expenditures, but before dividends, and costs related to asbestos and environmental settlements) in 2005 to be approximately $150 million, up slightly from an anticipated $140 million in 2004.

Personnel

California Eastern Laboratories announced the promotion of Paul Minton to the position of president. Minton, who most recently served as the company’s executive vice president, has had a seat on CEL’s board of directors for four years. He takes over the position from Jerry Arden, who served as CEL’s president for the last 16 years, and will remain on as the company’s CEO and chairman of the board.

Taconic announced that, as part of a recent reorganization, Manfred Huschka will assume the role of vice president of global sales for the Advanced Dielectric Division. As vice president of global sales, Huschka will be responsible for overseeing sales activities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The Advanced Dielectric sales staff will now report to him. Taconic is a manufacturer of substrate materials for the aerospace, automotive, chemical, food, medical, packaging, textile and wireless communication industries.

Louis J. Stans

Park Electrochemical Corp. announced the appointment of Louis J. Stans as vice president of engineering of the company. Stans has held senior engineering and technology positions at Photocircuits Corp., Dayton T. Brown Inc. and Grumman Aerospace Corp.

EMS Satellite Networks, a division of EMS Technologies Inc., announced the appointment of Penny Glover as managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Glover has more than 15 years experience in satellite communications, notably with the European Space Agency, and most recently with SES-ASTRA and SATLYNX in key roles supporting the development and deployment of broadband DVB-RCS services.

Michael J. LoFrumento

Ultrasource Inc., a supplier of thin film circuits and ceramic interconnect devices, announced the hiring of Michael J. LoFrumento as director of sales. Prior to joining UltraSource, LoFrumento was responsible for all sales activities at Natel Engineering in their microelectronics products and services department. His earlier work was in creating an extensive sales and marketing strategy for a microelectronics ceramic packaging company. In his role as director of sales he will be responsible for managing UltraSource’s worldwide sales network and supervising new business development.

Rep Appointments

JFW Industries, the Indiana-based manufacturer of attenuators and RF switches, has appointed several representatives in the US and Canada. TX Sales will cover Northern Illinois, and can be reached at (260) 489-4447. CBR Associates will cover Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas, and can be reached at (952) 470-2282. RF MAX will cover Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island and metro New York, and can be contacted at (973) 728-6047. D&M Technical Sales has been assigned the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. They can be contacted at (972) 837-2315. Eastern Canada will be covered by Repwave, who can be reached at (613) 270-9811, while western Canada will be covered by RT Associates and can be reached at (604) 929-8541.

MI Technologies has selected TelePrecision S.A. to represent its line of RF and microwave test and measurement products in Romania. TelePrecision (Bucharest, Romania) can be reached at + 40 (0) 21-3357710 or e-mail: teleprecision@teleprecision.ro. MI Technologies also appointed Eastern Instrumentation Corp. to cover the US mid-Atlantic region. Eastern Instrumentation (Columbia, MD) can be reached at (410) 884-7303 or on its web site at www.eicorp.com.

Planar Electronics Technology has appointed Eastern Tech Corp. to cover Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. They can be reached at (410) 715-2100 or e-mail: jhons@eastern-tech.com.

Web site

Micro-Coax announces the opening of its online Web store at www.micro-coax.com. This Web site offers a fully-interactive Web store for UTiFLEX custom microwave test assemblies. The site features a completely integrated design tool that details features and benefits of all products, enabling the user to select the optimum cable, connector and armor combinations. Real time price and delivery details are instantly available and orders can be placed directly from the site, insuring quick and accurate turn around of custom, stable test assemblies. The Web store also features a product selector of Micro-Coax full line of semi-rigid and flexible coaxial products

New Market Entry

Focus Microwaves has created a “Measurement System Integration Group” (MSIG). MSIG designs, builds, delivers and installs customized “turn-key” measurement systems based on the microwave tuner products, and provides training and support services at customer sites. MSIG draws from experience of over 600 tuner systems already installed by Focus Microwaves and has access to all resources of the company, including software development, high precision CNC machining, in-house load pull, and noise measurement systems and VNA capability up to 65 and 110 GHz, respectively.

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