OML just celebrated 25 years in business. Give us a brief history of the company and the motivation behind its formation.

OML was originally started by Chuck Oleson in 1994 and was known as Oleson Microwave Labs. In 2004, Oleson Microwave Labs became OML, Inc.

The motivation behind the company was a vision to promote millimeter wave awareness and to fulfill a need for measurements and analysis at these higher frequency levels. By providing reliable and accurate tools to extend beyond the native operating frequency range of instruments — such as vector network analyzers (VNA), spectrum analyzers, signal generators and scalar network analyzers — engineers and researchers have the equipment necessary to pursue their investigations and developments.

We strive to be on the innovative forefront of the millimeter wave industry by working in collaboration with our partners and customers to consistently provide solutions.

Where is OML located? How big is the company?

OML is located in Morgan Hill, California. We are a small, privately held company.

Although we are a smaller company, we pride ourselves on how we have grown in other areas. We continue to strive for innovation in our products while maintaining the performance and consistency of our products. We not only create a family environment amongst our team, but we try and extend the same attitude to our customers.

OML focuses on the millimeter wave and sub-millimeter wave segment of the test equipment market. What products do you offer and over what frequency ranges?

OML offers frequency extension products such as harmonic mixers, multiplier source modules, up/down-converters and vector network analyzer extenders covering ranges from 50 to 500 GHz. Many of our standard modules have options, such as electronic attenuation for source modules, IMD (intermodulation distortion) and attenuation for VNA heads and special extended ranges that allow our customers to achieve their desired results and solutions.

Along with the many options we provide with our standard units, we also offer complementary accessories such as calibration kits and millimeter wave components. Our solutions empower engineers in R&D and manufacturing to pursue opportunities in emerging applications, spanning radio astronomy, communication, imaging, space research, biomedical and homeland security.

How do you differentiate your products to attract customers? What is your value proposition?

Over the years OML’s brand has been recognized for its reliability, performance and ease of use. More importantly, we provide efficient and fast technical customer support. We not only assist with technical questions regarding our own products, but we also assist with the setup and technical aspects of our partners' systems and customers’ proposed solutions.

We pride ourselves on working with our customers directly to find solutions for their requirements — many times utilizing our innovative spirit to create a product for a future need or constantly improving the specs of our current products.

The true value is in the dedication of our team to continue to ensure that our products remain reliable with exceptional performance, while offering knowledgeable and responsive customer service.

Given OML’s long tenure, how have you seen the millimeter wave market evolve over the past 25 years?

The evolution of the millimeter wave market went from having the focus primarily relating to R&D, investigation and pure curiosity to the current mainstream consumer market. This is seen specifically below the 110 GHz range, where we see many applications for Wi-Fi, 5G, auto radar systems and E-Band point-to-point radios.

In the past, where millimeter wave was more of a small niche, it has now grown into a community with a new growing population of companies and clientele.

Given this market evolution, where do you see the best opportunities for OML, and how are you positioning the company to take advantage of them?

The best opportunity for OML is to continue to work closely with customers and offer products and services that meet the customers’ needs in this changing millimeter wave market.

In order to achieve this, we are focusing on providing innovative solutions, such as single connection multiple measurements (SCMM) concept hardware, which reduces the necessary equipment and reconfiguration needed for different types of measurements as well as improving throughputs.

As a solution provider, we want to help our customers with quick turnkey solutions that meet their needs.

Radio astronomy has been one of your longstanding markets. Describe the role your products play and how they help advance humanity’s knowledge of the cosmos.

Since our focus is test and measurement, OML provides radio astronomy researchers and engineers the capabilities to extend the frequencies of spectrum analyzers, VNAs and signal generators. We assist them in achieving the next level needed to develop highly sensitive instruments for continual research and discoveries in space.

Some of the new commercial millimeter wave applications — automotive and wireless communications, for example — are global. Are you pursuing these international opportunities?

OML is involved with various international customers and partners that pursue and expand on the current commercial applications of automotive and wireless communications. We work directly, as well as through our partners, to ensure that millimeter wave solutions have been available for international customers for many years.

Tell us about your own background and your path to becoming president and CEO of OML.

I have over 40 years of experience in the RF, microwave and millimeter wave industry. I started my career as a YIG design engineer at Varian Associates, after receiving my BSEE from UC Berkeley, and advanced to the engineering department manager position.

I earned my MSEE and MBA from Santa Clara University while working full time. I have worked with companies such as Litton, Celeritek and California Microwave as a senior member of the technical staff in developing commercial products. Before joining OML, I was the handheld products marketing manager at Anritsu.

As a senior leader in both engineering and marketing, I always had a passion for innovation and exploring possibilities and capabilities of various products. Entering the millimeter wave realm, I was fascinated with the possibilities and relish the challenge to provide new solutions for customer problems.

After joining OML in 2003, I worked closely with Chuck Oleson in building a strong brand and name for our products. After acquiring OML in 2011, I continue to lead with passion while seeking innovation and providing the best possible solutions for our customers.