Extracting Space from Aerospace & Defense By Dale Robinette, CEO, EPIQ Space
When you consider the $195 billion1 global space business, one would think the revenue would merit tracking this industry segment on its own. Satellite Manufacturing Revenue was estimated to be approximately $15.7 billion2 in 2013. Read More...
FROM WHERE WE SIT
Will OpenRFM Shake Up the Microwave Industry? By Barry Manz
Throughout the history of the RF and microwave industry there has never been a form factor standardizing the electromechanical, software, control plane, and thermal interfaces used by integrated microwave assemblies (IMAs) employed in defense systems. Rather, every system has been built to meet the requirements of a specific system, which may be but probably isn’t compatible with any other system. It’s simply the way the industry has always responded to requests from subcontractors that in turn must meet the physical, electrical, and RF requirements of prime contractors. Read More...
CURRENT ISSUE PRODUCTS
Band Reject Filter Series Higher frequency band reject (notch) filters are designed to operate over the frequency range of .01 to 28 GHz. These filters are characterized by having the reverse properties of band pass filters and are offered in multiple topologies. Available in compact sizes. RLC Electronics
SP6T RF Switch JSW6-33DR+ is a medium power reflective SP6T RF switch, with reflective short on output ports in the off condition. Made using Silicon-on-Insulator process, it has very high IP3, a built-in CMOS driver and negative voltage generator. Mini-Circuits
Group Delay Equalized Bandpass Filter Part number 2903 is a group delayed equalized elliptic type bandpass filter that has a typical 1 dB bandwidth of 94 MHz and a typical 60 dB bandwidth of 171 MHz. Insertion loss is <2 dB and group delay variation from 110 to 170 MHz is <3nsec. KR Electronics
Absorptive Low Pass Filter Model AF9350 is a UHF, low pass filter that covers the 10 to 500 MHz band and has an average power rating of 400W CW. It incurs a rejection of 45 dB minimum at the 750 to 3000 MHz band, and power rating of 25W CW from 501 to 5000 MHz. Werlatone
LTE Band 14 Ceramic Duplexer This high performance LTE ceramic duplexer was designed and built for use in public safety communication and commercial cellular applications. It operates in Band 14 and offers low insertion loss and high isolation to enable clear communications in the LTE network. Networks International
MILMEGA Ltd presented with Queen’s Award for Innovation 2012
Ryde, Isle of Wight, UK – October 3, 2012
MILMEGA Ltd, was presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for developing amplifiers, based on a novel design methodology, using gallium nitride-based transistor technology, which has brought the Company significant, global, commercial success.
Her majesty’s Lord Lieutenant Major General Martin White CB CBE JP presented the Award to the Company on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony held at the Priory Bay Hotel in Seaview on Friday 28th September.
The ceremony was attended by the Company’s staff and partners as well as local suppliers together with dignitaries from the Isle of Wight including John Owen, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Steve Beynon, Chief Executive of the Isle of Wight Council, Susan Scoccia, Chairman of the Isle of Wight Council and David Woodward, Mayor of Ryde.
Graeme Goodall, MILMEGA’s FD received a crystal bowl engraved with the Queens Award emblem on behalf of the Company’s staff together with a ceremonial Grant of Appointment and thanked both those who work at MILMEGA and with MILMEGA for their contributions to this achievement.
Graeme Goodall, FD said “The Award says a lot about the skills and abilities of those who work at and with MILMEGA in achieving sustained global success in the design and manufacture of highly innovative, market leading, amplifier products. I am also pleased that this Award recognises and promotes, not only our innovative designs but also the values of quality and customer service that are important to us as a Company.”
The prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation is awarded to businesses in the UK to recognise outstanding innovative achievements relative to their operational size. To win the Award, MILMEGA Ltd was required to demonstrate continuous innovation and development over a period of five years resulting in substantial improvement in the performance of the Company. In addition the Award is only made to organisations that can demonstrate a high level of corporate responsibility.
MILMEGA Ltd is a specialist designer and manufacturer of high power, solid state broadband RF and microwave amplifiers. The Company’s 25-year history is supported by a strong reputation for the quality and technical innovation of its products.
MILMEGA’s products are used throughout the world in EMC testing, defence, communications and high-energy physics. The proliferation of electronic systems in products such as cars, mobiles, notebooks, televisions, medical equipment, aircraft and other products has led to increasingly serious problems with electromagnetic interference. EMC testing evaluates the susceptibility of electronic products to electromagnetic emissions by irradiating them with signals generated by high-powered amplifiers. Manufacturers, therefore, test these electronic products for electromagnetic compatibility and susceptibility using broadband high power amplifiers.
Established in 1987, MILMEGA Ltd employs 31 design, manufacturing and support staff at its factory in Ryde, Isle of Wight. Following a MBO in 2004 the Company has grown significantly by investing heavily in new product design and by expanding its overseas markets most notably in the Far East.
The Company was acquired in January 2012 by Teseq Ltd, a UK subsidiary of Teseq Holding AG a large global EMC group based in Switzerland.
Grudzien To Head Rogers Advanced Circuit Materials Division
Rogers Corporation has appointed Jeffrey Grudzien as vice president of its Advanced Circuit Materials Division, replacing Michael Bessette, who is retiring after 37 years with the company. Grudzien joined Rogers in 2000 and has served as vice president of global sales and marketing for the past 4 years. He previously served as director of Asia sales, corporate director of marketing, and marketing director for the company’s High Performance Foams Division. In his new role, Grudzien will guide the division’s commercial and technology development of next-generation, high-frequency materials. Grudzien received a BSCE degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Agilent Completes Acquisition of Accelicon
Accelicon Technologies, a software developer for device modeling and validation is now part of Agilent Technologies. The solutions acquired from the acquisition include MBP for device-level extraction and model generation, MQA for device-level model validation and AMA for advanced model analysis, including layout effects. Accelicon was founded in 2002 by Dr. Xisheng Zhang who has now joined Agilent along with former Accelicon CEO Tim K. Smith. The majority of the former Accelicon employees are located in Beijing and will remain part of Agilent.
Aeroflex Holding Announces 2Q 2012 Results
Aeroflex Holding’s net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 were $171.1 million, up about 10% sequentially from the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Aeroflex Microelectronic Solutions sales were $84.6 million and Aeroflex Test Solutions sales were $86.5 million. Operating income was $8.2 million and the net loss was $535. For the fiscal third quarter ending March 31, Aeroflex expects net sales to be between $167 million and $177 million. For the full fiscal year ending June 30, Aeroflex expects net sales to be between $700 million and $720 million.
Hittite Reports 4Q Revenue
Hittite Microwave Corporation reported revenue for its fourth quarter fourth quarter ended December 31 of $60.2 million, decrease of 8.2% compared with $65.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, and a decrease of 11.6% compared with $68.1 million for the third quarter of 2011. Net income for the quarter was $21.2 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, an increase of 1.5% compared with $20.9 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2010, and a decrease of 5.3% compared with $22.4 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011.
Revenue from US customers was $27.7 million or 46% of total revenue, and revenue from customers outside the US was $32.5 million or 54% of total revenue. Gross margin was 74.0% for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with 74.5% for both the fourth quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2011. Operating income for the fourth quarter was $24.6 million, or 40.9% of revenue. Total cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2011 was $353.7 million, an increase of $2.5 million for the quarter.
For all of 2011, revenue was $264.1 million, an 8.1% increase from $244.3 million for 2010. Net income for the year was $84.7 million, or $2.77 per diluted share, an increase of 9.9% from $77 million for 2010. Net bookings for 2011 were $256.9 million, compared with $254.9 million for 2010. Backlog at December 31, 2011 was $67.4 million compared with $74.5 million at December 31, 2010.
Giga-tronics, Alara Capital Partners Close $2.2 Million Investment
Giga-tronics has closed on the $2.2 million investment from Alara Capital AVI II and has issued 9,997 shares of a new series of convertible preferred stock at $220 per share to Alara. The preferred shares are initially convertible into 999,700 shares or 16.6% of the company’s common stock, or the equivalent of $2.20 per share of common stock. Alara also received warrants to purchase 848,684 more shares of common stock subject to approval of Giga-tronics shareholders. The Giga-tronics board is expanding to seven members with the addition of Alara partner Dr. Joseph Thompson and Dr. Lutz Henckels, both of whom are or have been test and measurement industry executives.
CPI Econco Division Acquires Freeland Products
The Econco Division of Communications & Power Industries has acquired Freeland Products, Inc., a Louisiana-based company that repairs and rebuilds vacuum electron devices for the communications, industrial, scientific and medical markets., CPI Econco Division acquired all inventory, equipment, supplies and substantially all of the other assets of Freeland Products for an undisclosed sum. CPI Econco Division will integrate these assets into its Woodland, CA facility. The acquisition was funded by CPI's cash on hand.
Nitronex Qualifies NRF1 GaN Process
Nitronex has completed qualification of its NRF1 discrete process for volume production at Global Communication Semiconductors (GCS). NRF1 is Nitronex's proprietary 100-mm GaN-on-Si process and has been used to ship more than 500,000 production devices since volume shipments began in 2009. Under a long-term supply agreement between the two companies, GCS will exclusively provide Nitronex with NRF1 discrete and MMIC foundry services. Qualification includes DC, RF, thermal, reliability, and other parametric testing.
Z-Communications Launches New Web Site
Z-Communications has launched its new Web site (zcomm.com), adding functionality and updated navigation. It includes the company’s line of VCO and PLL modules and offers a fast parts search function by center frequency or model number. The company catalog, data sheets, mechanical drawings, and application notes can be downloaded from the site as well.
RFMW, Ltd, Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification
RFMW, Ltd has been granted registration to the ISO 9001:2008 standard by the International Standards Authority. RFMW, Ltd supports customer design, prototype and manufacturing requirements with products from suppliers such as TriQuint, RFMD, Skyworks, and NXP.
MegaPhase Adds Test and Measurement Cables
MegaPhase has introduced “Private Labeled” test and measurement cables with guaranteed pricing and delivery times and no minimum quantity. The cables are available for operation at frequencies through 70 GHz and are well suited for telecom, semiconductor, spacecraft, and C4ISR test sets, as well as all types of RF and microwave test equipment, probe stations, and EMC and environmental test chambers.
Anritsu Donates Handheld Radios To Boy Scouts Seeking Radio Merit Badge
Anritsu Company has donated 26 handheld radios to the Boy Scouts of America (Santa Clara County Council) that will be used by Scouts with interest in amateur radio and to earn the Radio Merit Badge. The donation, made possible by an upgrade to Anritsu’s onsite two-way radio system, is part of the company’s commitment to foster wireless technology education. The Boy Scouts have long helped budding radio amateurs and countless Scouts first exposed to radio communications during their pursuit of the Radio Merit Badge have gone on to make numerous contributions in the fields of science and engineering.
BearCom, a nationwide wireless equipment dealer and integrator who worked with Anritsu to complete the onsite radio system upgrade also participated in the donation, which was given to the Boy Scouts of America. Scout leaders and volunteers who are amateur radio operators will modify the handheld radios for use on amateur radio bands, so that scouts may use them in amateur events.
Mindspeed Buys Picochip
Network technology chipset supplier Mindspeed has a choir small-cell technology developer Picochip for $51.8 million in cash and shares. The merger should allow the companies to produce a product strategy that includes multi-standard, ARM-based, system-on-a-chip products, combining 3G and LTE technology on a single chip. The deal valued Picochip at $51.8 together with a further potential earn-out of $25 million. The company has received private funding of $110 million since 2005. Source: www.fiercewireless.com.
API Technologies Buys Commercial Microwave Technology
API Technologies has acquired Commercial Microwave Technology (CMT) of Rancho Cordova, CA, for $8.2 million in cash. Founded in 1997, CMT manufactures standard and custom RF and microwave filters for sitcom and commercial applications. It has annual revenues and EBITDA of $8 million and $2.5 million. API will provide CMT with an expanded sales channel, and superior manufacturing capabilities.
Microwave Ablation Proving Successful
Cancer treatment systems maker BSD Medical said that its MicroThermX Microwave Ablation system has successfully treated 100 patients at hospitals across the U.S. Doctors have used the therapy system to treat patients with liver, kidney, and lung cancers. The MicroThermX system is a transportable product that includes a microwave signal source, single-use antennas, and a temperature monitoring mechanism. Its usage helps approach larger and more uniform areas of ablation during a procedure.
The MicroThermX system utilizes BSD Medical’s proprietary synchronous phased array technology to deliver precision-guided microwave energy to ablate soft tissues using a single-patient-use disposable antenna. The minimally-invasive MicroThermX system has been developed to provide treatments as a stand-alone therapy and has applications in open surgical and percutaneous (via needle-puncture of the skin) ablation procedures.
Comcast has selected GreenPeak Technologies’ controller chips for its with ZigBee non-line-of-sight RF4CE technology for use in television remote controls for its Xfinity TV service. The companies are standardizing an MSO profile protocol optimized for service operators’ needs which will be open for all operators and CE companies to adopt. Battery life is expected to be extended by up to 3 years.
CTT Launches New Web Site
The new Web site for CTT, Inc. is “live” (www.cttinc.com). The site includes more than 175 new amplifier products and makes it easier to search for high-power and low-noise amplifiers and subassemblies. It includes product listings for high-end medium power amplifiers, as well as GaN-based amplifiers and many other devices. The site now also allows the option to sort amplifiers by various technical specifications.
TriQuint Advances DARPA GaN Program Ahead Of Schedule
TriQuint's begun work on Phase II of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) multi-year Nitride Electronic NeXt-Generation Technology (NEXT) program as a prime contractor. TriQuint has received $12.67 million in ate in support of the NEXT contract. The program was created by DARPA to research and develop devices suitable for high-dynamic-range mixed-signal circuits for future defense and aerospace applications. Phase II of the NEXT program is contracted to last 18 months.
TriQuint Senior Fellow Dr. Paul Saunier leads the NEXT program as principal investigator.
NEXT Phase I concentrated on fabricating very-high-frequency devices and meeting defined yield metrics. Phase II will concentrate on process development in the pursuit of increased yields while pushing the operating frequency to 400 GHz. Phase III will seek to extend the operating frequency to 500 GHz with higher yields and reduced circuit size. NEXT also focuses on highly-scaled enhancement-depletion (E/D) mode GaN mixed-signal devices, similar to those used in gallium arsenide (GaAs) E/D MMICs.
TRM Microwave Nets “Excellence in Product Performance and Delivery” Award from BAE Systems
TRM Microwave has been recognized for “Sustained excellence in product performance and delivery” by BAE’s Joint Strike Fighter team, in Merrimack, NH. “The effort of our JSF teams, combined, is what contributed to a successful 2011 for both TRM and BAE” said Mark Schappler, COO of TRM Microwave. “We’re delighted for the recognition associated with our level of commitment to serving BAE.”
Giga-tronics has renewed its AS9100 certification, an upgrade of the company’s ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Giga-tronics is now certified as able to provide products and services that meet the most stringent aerospace and defense industry quality system requirements.AS9100 is the quality management system standard for the aerospace industry and includes all ISO 9001:2000 requirements as a base with numerous enhancements.
•The Design of Ultra Narrowband Amplifiers Using Small-Signal Varactor Upconverters This paper presents a method of realizing tunable microwave amplifiers with ultra narrow bandwidths that can be less than 0.5% by the use of a varactor up-converter (UC). Planar Monolithics
•Directivity and VSWR Measurements Return loss and VSWR measurements are complicated by the finite performance of the directional device used to measure the reflected power. The only accurate and convenient way to make return loss measurements is with a well matched high directivity directional coupler or bridge. Marki Microwave
•Switch Solutions for Systems with Low PIM Requirements Dow-Key Microwave has invested in R&D for new RF switch products designed specifically to reduce intermodulation (IM) in coaxial switches. Dow-Key Microwave
• How to Specify RF and Microwave Filters Covers cavity, ceramic, LC, crystal and helical filters. Anatech Electronics
• Mounting Considerations for Medium Power Surface-Mount RF Devices Covers all factors that must be considered when mounting SMT devices. TriQuint Semiconductor
• Biasing MMIC Amplifiers How to bias MMICs along with theory and techniques. Mini-Circuits