Microwave Journal

Around the Circuit

June 1, 2009

Industry News

Harris Corp., an international communications and information technology company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems business (formerly known as M/A-COM), an established provider of mission-critical wireless communications systems for law enforcement, fire and rescue, and public service organizations. Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems, a business segment of Tyco Electronics Ltd., was formed in 1999 and grew through the acquisition of ComNet Ericsson in 2001 to create Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems (Wireless Systems). Wireless Systems will be combined with the Harris RF Communications business segment, creating a dynamic new organization that will provide end-to-end wireless network solutions to the growing $9 B global land mobile radio systems market. Under the definitive agreement, Harris will purchase the Wireless Systems assets of Tyco Electronics for $675 M in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments.


Microsemi Corp., a manufacturer of high performance analog mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, and Endwave Corp., a provider of high frequency RF solutions for mobile communications markets, announced that Microsemi has acquired Endwave's defense electronics and security (D&S) business. Microsemi intends to combine Endwave's high frequency product portfolio with its own, creating one of the leading high reliability RF product offerings in the market today and covering the technology spectrum up to 100 GHz. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsemi is acquiring the D&S assets for a total equity value of $28 M in cash plus the assumption of specified liabilities. Microsemi expects the acquisition to be accretive immediately.

Codan Ltd. has announced a strategic expansion of its satellite communications business, acquiring Pennsylvania-based Locus Microwave Inc. Locus is a specialist microwave technology company based in State College, PA, primarily focused on the design, manufacture and supply of microwave radio products for satellite communications. Under Codan's ownership, Locus will remain a US-based business with its design, manufacturing and sales led by the company's founders and current executive team comprising Jim Dixon, Gary McGovern and Dana Wilt. The acquisition will enable Codan to establish closer contact with the North American Satellite market with the addition of Locus's product development and manufacturing base in State College.

Superconductor Technologies Inc. (STI), a provider of advanced wireless solutions, innovative adaptive filtering and world class cryogenic products for commercial and government applications, will be participating with a major wireless original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in a long-term evolution (LTE) field trial with a tier-one US wireless operator for its new 700 MHz network. The trial is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Centellax Inc., a manufacturer of high performance, low cost test equipment, announced the opening of its first international sales office in Shenzhen, China, as well as the expansion of its international sales team to meet the growing demand from their customers. Centellax made the decision to open an office in China because of an increase of business opportunities in the region.

Asylum Research's wholly owned UK subsidiary has moved and expanded its offices. Asylum Research UK opened for business nearly three years ago and its successful growth has led to the need for more office space to accommodate staff and demonstration equipment, including the new CypherTM AFM. The new office is located in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Aeroflex announced support for new NXDN radios being developed for the land mobile radio market. As a member of the NXDNTM Forum, Aeroflex is leading the way with new test features that aid in the research and development of this exciting new radio technology.

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced the company's strong endorsement of the ZigBee Alliance's recent announcement to integrate Internet Protocol (IP) and open standards. The plan to incorporate global IT standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) will allow continued growth of smart grid applications beyond the smart meter with the proven ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile.

Agilent Technologies Inc. introduced a new option-arbitrary load impedance X-parameters-for its PNA-X Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer. The option, when used in conjunction with Maury Microwave tuners and software, enables the capability to accurately measure and simulate nonlinear component behavior at all load impedances. The result is the highest level of insight into nonlinear DUT behavior, making the NVNA capability especially useful for scientists researching new RF technologies and engineers involved in designing today's high performance active devices.

AWR, an innovation leader in high frequency electronic design automation (EDA), announced that users of AWR's Microwave Office design software now have access to XML library data for a broad array of microwave amplifiers from TriQuint Semiconductor Inc.'s San Jose design center (formerly WJ Communications). The devices include packaged gain-blocks, field effect transistors (FET) and heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) amplifiers. The library provides measurement-based models and footprints used for printed circuit board (PCB) and module layouts. It is available to users of AWR's Microwave Office software through the XML library link accessible from the software.

Metelics Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, was named the Discrete Semiconductor Commodity Supplier of the Year 2009 by Rockwell Collins. The award was presented during the company's Annual Supplier Conference. The Supplier of the Year award is an acknowledgment of significant contributions made during the year by suppliers and is based upon quality, delivery, total cost of ownership, lead time and customer service.

Teledyne Storm Products' Microwave Group recently obtained AS9100(B) certification. As an AS9100 registered company, Teledyne Storm-Microwave's quality management system meets not only ISO 9001 standards, but also the additional standards formulated by the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) to specifically address specialized requirements of the aviation, space and defense industries. Teledyne Storm Products-Microwave provides high performance interconnect solutions to domestic and international defense/aerospace, telecommunications, and test & measurement markets.

Electronic Assembly Manufacturing Inc. (EAM), an RF/microwave coaxial cable assembly supplier, has recently announced the receipt of its ISO 9001:2000 certification. The certificate of registration assures adherence to the BS EN ISO 9001:2000 standard as it applies to the manufacture of standard and custom cable assemblies, and related products for military, medical and commercial applications. The certification was granted through IMS International, which has been improving and enhancing the technical excellence of its clients since 1989.

In an effort to reduce the company's carbon footprint, use less energy and water, and significantly increase efficiencies, Jazz Semiconductor Inc., a Tower Group company, and leading Orange County chipmaker, is conducting an ongoing efficiency overhaul. To be more energy efficient in the operation of its globally competitive 24/7 fabrication facility, the company has already instituted new technology and practices that have resulted in a savings of more than 7.5 million kilowatt hours per year, resulting in the avoidance of 5,386 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-the equivalent of taking 986 cars off the road.

The 17th Annual SMT Vision Award has announced LPKF Laser & Electronics as the winner for innovation and excellence in products and service, within the Assembly Tools category. The ProtoLaser U is a UV laser for depaneling of flex, rigid and rigid-flex material.

L-com, a leader in the manufacture of wired and wireless connectivity solutions, announced that it is the recipient of the prestigious 2008 Boeing Performance Excellence Award (BPEA).

Contracts

XIO Strategies Inc., a supply chain management and communications consulting firm, announced that it has been awarded a subcontract by Northrop Grumman to provide active RFID consulting services to the US Department of Defense under their RFID III contract, a multiple award, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with a $429 M ceiling available for task orders.

Cobham plc has received a contract modification from the US Navy to produce 51 ALQ-99 Low Band Transmitters (LBT) and provide spare parts for US$72 M. This contract, initially valued at US$37 M, was previously announced by the company in October 2008.

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.

Radio Waves Inc. has announced that a North American wireless communications carrier has selected its high quality microwave antenna systems. Both Radio Waves SP standard performance and HP high performance products as well as Radio Waves newest UHP ultra high performance models will be utilized by the carrier. These microwave antennas will support the carrier's geographical expansion and network capacity enhancement. Radio Waves was selected for this expansion due to its ability to deliver high quality antennas made in the US at its Billerica, MA global headquarters more rapidly than other manufacturers.

Communications & Power Industries Inc. (CPI) has been awarded approximately $3.1 M by Sierra Nevada Corp. to supply integrated microwave assemblies and transmitters for use in the US Navy's AN/APN-245 Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) Beacon. CPI, a subsidiary of CPI International Inc. (CPII), is a provider of microwave, radio frequency, power and control solutions for critical defense, communications, medical, scientific and other applications.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced that its New York-based subsidiary, Comtech PST Corp., received a $2 M contract for broadband, solid-state, high power RF microwave amplifier system spares from an international original equipment manufacturer (OEM). These spares are being provided in support of previously fielded communications jamming high power amplifier systems for the electronic warfare market.

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 smartphone manufacturer to supply its RF2815 GPS LNA module for use in a soon to be released CDMA smartphone. This new smartphone is expected to launch in the second half of calendar 2009 in North America. The feature-rich, dual-band CDMA device will be manufactured by the leading Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer and will feature a leading open source mobile operating system.

Financial News

WiSpry Inc., a leader in programmable RF semiconductor products for the wireless industry, announced its first closing for a Series C financing of $10 M dollars. The round was led by a new investor in the company, Paladin Capital Group, which is also gaining a seat on WiSpry's board of directors, as well as existing investors L-Capital Partners and Blue Print Ventures. A new strategic investor, MuRata Manufacturing Co. Ltd., and additional existing investors American River Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Tech Coast Angels and Shepherd Ventures also participated. A second close of the Series C, anticipated to be at least $5 M, is expected to be completed this summer.

Personnel

Park Electrochemical Corp. announced the appointment of Marty Kendrick as Vice President of Operations. In this new position, Kendrick will be responsible for the Park's operations in Asia, Europe and North America with the exception of the company's advanced composite materials operation located in Waterbury, CT. Most recently, Kendrick was Vice President of North American Operations of Park with responsibility for Park's Neltec Inc., Nelco Products Inc., Park Aircraft Technologies Corp. and Park Aerospace Structures Corp. subsidiaries. The company also announced the appointment of Tom Pursch as the President of the company's aircraft composite parts subsidiary in Lynnwood, WA and the company's aircraft composite materials and technologies subsidiary. Since joining the company in October of 2008, Pursch was President of Park's Nelco Products Inc. electronics materials subsidiary located in Fullerton, CA.

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., a supplier of high performance RF CMOS and mixed-signal communications ICs, announced that it has appointed Jay Biskupski to the role of chief financial offer, responsible for the company's financial and site services organizations. Prior to joining Peregrine, Biskupski served as chief financial officer of publicly traded Xantrex Technology Inc.

Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products Inc. announced the appointment of Devin Sullivan as RFID Program Manager. This addition comes as a prelude to the launch of MetalTag™ Impact, a ruggedized addition to the MetalTag product line. In response to the growing RFID industry, and the need for Read-On-Metal and Liquid solutions, the company is expanding its presence by adding a dedicated individual to focus on the need for its Read-On-Metal, RFID transponder product line. Sullivan will be responsible for sales of products into the RFID sales channel. His responsibilities will include identifying trade partners, setting market pricing and making recommendations for product promotion, and related marketing support.

MI Technologies announced the appointment of Jan Kendall as Director, Product Marketing, and Bill Hawkins, Strategic Account Manager. In the new position of Director, Product Marketing, Kendall is responsible for ensuring the company's product management and customer support efforts align with overall strategies and market trends by providing focused product marketing and marketing communications management. Hawkins comes to MI Technologies with more than 17 years sales experience. Prior to joining the company, Hawkins served as a Field Sales Engineer for Agilent Technologies where he coordinated all facets of sales of multimillion-dollar testing solutions to the semiconductor industry.

Rep Appointments

Reactel Inc., a manufacturer of RF and microwave filters, multiplexers, switched filter banks and sub-assemblies to the commercial, military, industrial and medical industries, announced the appointment of WES-K as the company's representative in Southern California. For more information about WES-K, visit www.wes-k.com or telephone Randy Salmont at (661) 714-5414.

International Manufacturing Services Inc. (IMS), a manufacturer and supplier of high quality thick film resistors, terminations, attenuators, thermal management products, planar dividers and planar filters to the electronics industry, announced the appointment of Joe Ruvolo of K&R Engineering as its Northern New Jersey sales representative. Ruvolo has more than twenty years' experience in the electronics industry working in purchasing and sales. He worked for ITT for seven years before joining K&R Engineering of Succasunna, NJ. He has been with K&R Engineering since 1995, covering Northern New Jersey. Contact Joe Ruvolo, K&R Engineering, 275 Route 10 East, Suite 220-285, Succasunna, NJ 07876; e-mail: joe@kreng.com; ph: (973) 584-5235.

Precision Connector Inc., a manufacturer of precision coaxial connectors, has appointed RF Connections LLC as Sales Representative in the Southeast United States. RF Connections will cover the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.