Microwave Journal

Around the Circuit

June 5, 2011

Industry News

May was another big month for mergers and acquisitions in the microwave industry. Just as the Journal was about to go to press with our June issue, Skyworks Solutions, the subject of this month’s cover feature, announced that it would be acquiring SiGe Semiconductor. The acquisition gives Skyworks greater access to the lower performance but high volume WiFi and home automation markets where the company’s GaAs expertise faces stiff cost pressures from silicon-based products. Shoring up its position in the WiFi market should help the company deepen its relationship with computer-makers like Apple.

Test measurement software (Labview) and hardware provider National Instruments (NI) stunned the RF/microwave industry as well with two separate, yet simultaneous announcements regarding the acquisitions of RF/mW EDA leader AWR Corp., developers of Microwave Office, and Phase Matrix Inc., a manufacturer of T&M instruments, subsystems and components. The purchase of Phase Matrix, which recently introduced a family of PXI RF/mW modules (an area of increasing product development for NI), will immediately strengthen the company’s RF talent, technology portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. The acquisition of AWR further illustrates the industry’s move to more tightly integrated simulation (MWO, NI Multisim) and test solutions in design and verification flows.

M/A-COM Technology Solutions announced it has acquired privately held Optomai Inc., a fabless semiconductor company that develops high performance integrated circuits and modules for next generation 40 and 100 Gbps fiber optic networks. Based in Silicon Valley, CA, Optomai’s product portfolio and expertise in GaAs and InP circuit design complements M/A-COM Tech’s existing CATV/broadcast and point-to-point/infrastructure businesses, and accelerates its penetration of the rapidly growing optical communications market. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Ducommun Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding stock of LaBarge Inc. LaBarge, with revenue of $324 M for the twelve months ended January 2, 2011, is a widely recognized supplier of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) operating across many high growth industries. The acquisition will nearly double Ducommun’s revenue base, improve the company’s position as a Tier 2 leader in both aerostructures and electronics, and bring access to new customers and markets.

Rogers Corp.’s Advanced Circuit Materials Division (ACMD) opened a new production facility April 13 in Asia, one of its largest market regions. Rogers’ new Suzhou, China manufacturing facility represents a major investment in the modern China Suzhou Innovation Park. This ACMD-dedicated production facility significantly increases Rogers’ global capacity for its high performance RO4000® circuit laminates by about 50 percent, with room for additional growth.

Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the opening of a new calibration center in Sunrise, FL. Now owners of Agilent electronic measurement instruments in that area can receive true local OEM calibrations, such as actual measurements performed using OEM procedures for every data-sheet specification, each time they use the center.

AWR® Corp. announced the continuation of its AWR Graduate Gift Initiative for calendar year 2011. This initiative provides qualified electrical engineering graduates with a free, fully functional, one-year term license of AWR’s Microwave Office™ and Visual System Simulator™ software suites, including AXIEM™ 3D planar EM simulator. The software gift, while restricted to the graduate’s personal use (node locked versus floating license), is not restricted to educational use but rather open for commercial use at the graduate’s current/future employer.

The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, has signed a three-year site license agreement with COMSOL to provide all the Schools within KTH with COMSOL Multiphysics simulation software. More than 16,000 teachers, researchers and students will now have access to the entire suite of tools. COMSOL Multiphysics enables engineers and scientists in a wide array of engineering fields to conduct real-world simulations of any physics-based system for product design and development.

Modelithics now offers its customers nonlinear X-parameter measurement and modeling services. This technology is enabled through use of Agilent Technologies’ PNA-X Series Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer (NVNA) and provides circuit board designers with mathematically correct extensions of S-parameters for large signal conditions for devices such as amplifiers, mixers and RFIC/MMIC functional blocks.

TRU Corp., a provider of RF and microwave cable assemblies and interconnects, announces a year-long celebration of its 60-year heritage of innovation. TRU Corp. was incorporated by James O’Neil on April 20, 1951 in Peabody, MA, and continues to be owned primarily by the O’Neil family. TRU, like many pioneering RF companies of the time, became integrally involved in the early support of military programs targeted at the development of radar technologies for the war effort. The emergence of wireless technologies diversified TRU into a growing number of commercial markets and products.

Contracts

Raytheon Co. received a $173 M US Army fiscal year 2010 contract for the production of Excalibur precision-guided projectile rounds for in-theater use. This contract marks the beginning of full rate production for Excalibur Ia-2. Successfully fielded in 2007, Excalibur is a 155 mm precision-guided artillery round with extended range that is currently in use with the US Army and Marine Corps. Using GPS precision guidance technology, Excalibur provides first round fire-for-effect capability with accuracy well within 10 meters (32.8 feet) of its target.

Integral Systems Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, RT Logic, has been awarded more than $30 M in multiple government, military and commercial contracts during the past three months. Under the terms of the contracts, RT Logic will provide its commercial-based Telemetrix® signal processing systems that are used by more than 85 percent of US space missions.

AAI Test & Training, an operating unit of Textron Systems, announced it has been awarded $9.7 M to deliver an electronic warfare (EW) radio frequency simulator for the US Air Force’s EW Avionics Integration Support Facility (EWAISF). Located at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, the EWAISF facility tests critical components, subsystems and systems for compatibility and performance, as well as evaluates hardware and software interactions in both EW systems and integrated suites. AAI’s advanced architecture utilizes multiple, high fidelity synthetic stimulus instruments to replicate an operationally realistic electromagnetic environment that EW systems might face during combat missions. The simulator will be integrated onto the larger EWAISF Simulator Network for simultaneous testing of multiple EW systems.

Giga-tronics Inc. announced it received a $1.2 M order from the US Marines for its VXI synthesizer, the Giga-tronics model 5008A.

Personnel

Microwave Journal announced the hiring of Staff Editor Kerri Germani, who brings with her more than 20 years of writing and editing experience. She has worked as an editor for several MA newspapers, including The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro and The Herald News in Fall River. Germani holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Rhode Island. She lives in Lincoln, RI, with her husband and three children. Germani replaces Jenn DiMarco, who was promoted to Managing Editor. Germani will be handling PR submissions and can be reached at kgermani@mwjournal.com.

Trilithic Inc., a provider of RF and microwave components, is pleased to welcome Doug King to the Trilithic team as Regional Sales Manager for Trilithic’s RF and Microwave Division. In his new role, King will be responsible for worldwide sales of RF and Microwave components. Previously with Antenna Research Associates and Alan Industries, King is a 15-year veteran of the RF and microwave industry, and has held several sales management positions throughout his career.

TRU Corp. is pleased to announce the appointment of Chuck Saba to the applications engineering team. Based in Peabody, MA, Saba will provide technical support for Tru Corp.’s customer base to facilitate proper product selection, critical translation of requirements to design/ manufacturing and the development of new innovative products for emerging applications in the market. Saba has more than 20 years of experience in the RF and microwave industry, having worked in engineering and sales roles for companies, including M/A-COM, Axon Cable and Interconnect and Haverhill Cable and Manufacturing.

Rep Appointments

Norden Millimeter Inc. announced the appointment of TGI Ltd. and Microwave Components Marketing (MCM) as its technical sales representative in the United States. MCM will represent Norden in FL while TGI Ltd., will represent Norden in IL, MO and WI. Both MCM and TGI Ltd. have more than 30 years experience in the electronic industry and the expertise in solving customer design challenges. Norden designs and manufactures amplifiers, transceivers, frequency multipliers, frequency converters and oscillators for the military, scientific, commercial, and test equipment markets.

Richardson RFPD Inc. announced it will continue offering former Vincotech embedded GPS receiver modules and evaluations boards that are now part of the Maestro Wireless Solutions product family, including the newly launched SiRFstarIV A2100 GPS receiver module. Richardson RFPD recently signed a global distribution agreement with Maestro Wireless to offer its extensive line of industrial modems and integration services for the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) markets, including the GPS receiver assets of Vincotech, which Maestro Wireless acquired in October 2010.

Harmon & Sullivan Associates Inc. has been appointed as the Times OEM rep group covering upstate NY. Established in 1987 in Rochester, NY, Harmon & Sullivan Associates brings with it an extensive history in sales of interconnect solutions and strong relationships with the military subcontractors in the region. The outside sales team consists of Mary Lou Bianchi, who started with the firm in 1991 and is now a partner, and Steve Harmon, President and one of the founding partners of the firm. Bianchi has outside sales responsibilities for customers in Rochester and the central and eastern parts of the state, including BAE Systems. Harmon has outside sales responsibilities for customers in Rochester and northern and western parts of the state.

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corp. and radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) manufacturer Peregrine Semiconductor announced the two companies have finalized a global distribution agreement involving Peregrine’s UltraCMOS™ RFIC products. A number of Peregrine’s most popular RFICs – RF switches, digital step attenuators, PLL frequency synthesizers, mixers and prescalers – are now available for purchase on Digi-Key’s global websites and will be featured in online catalogs.