November 17, 2005 Newsletter

Nov. 17, 2005
============================== Microwaves & RF UPDATE MWRF - November 17, 2005 ============================== Greetings and welcome to your personal copy of Microwaves and RF UPDATE e-newsletter. Please see below for address-change or ...
Microwaves & RF UPDATE
November 17, 2005

Greetings and welcome to your personal copy of Microwaves 
and RF UPDATE e-newsletter. Please see below for address-change or 
subscribe/unsubscribe instructions.

Today's Table of Contents:

1. Of Collaboration and Consolidation
2. Microsemi to Acquire Advanced Power Technology 
3. RF SoC Supports Implantable Glucose Monitor 
4. CST Now Shipping CST MICROWAVE STUDIO Software 
5. Keithley Contest Winner Rewards Cal Lutheran University 
6. VXI Technology Selects Agilent's I/O Library Suite 
7. Meca Launches Microwave Isolators/Circulators 
8. EPX Microwave Releases First Switch Catalog
9. Happenings - Conferences 

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1.  Viewpoint 
Of Collaboration and Consolidation

Yet another pair of companies has announced their plan to merge 
resources, as the high-frequency industry continues its trend of 
consolidation. Certainly, the acquisition of Advanced Power 
Technology (APT) by Microsemi should result in a single entity that 
is financially stronger than either of the former companies and, for 
customers, a single source for a wider array of analog, 
mixed-signal, and high-power semiconductors. 

The trend has been most visible this year in the 
computer-aided-engineering (CAE) side of the business, notably with 
Eagleware's acquisition of Elanix, Agilent's followup acquisition of 
the combined Eagleware-Elanix, and Computer Simulation Technology's 
addition of APLAC. Don't forget the many acquisitions that have 
helped to build Ansoft, such as McNeil-Schwendler and Compact 
Software. Consolidation generally results in a stronger remaining 
company, but less competition. Is it a good thing for this industry? 
Share your thoughts with me at mailto:[email protected].

Technical Director

2. News
Microsemi to Acquire Advanced Power Technology

Microsemi Corporation announced the signing of a definitive 
agreement to acquire Advanced Power Technology (APT), expanding its 
portfolio of analog and mixed signal devices in the RF marketplace 
for defense, aerospace, and medical applications. Under the terms of 
the agreement, APT shareholders will receive $2.00 US per share in 
cash and 0.435 shares of Microsemi common stock for each share of 
APT common stock. According to Patrick Sireta, Chairman and CEO of 
APT, "We are very pleased to join Microsemi's team. This business 
combination will result in a very powerful value proposition to 
customers, investors, and employees." The transaction, which has 
been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both 
companies, is subject to regulatory approval and an APT shareholder 
vote. It is expected to close at the beginning of the second quarter 
of Microsemi's fiscal 2006 business year. 

Advanced Power Technology --->
Microsemi Corporation --->

3. News
RF SoC Supports Implantable Glucose Monitor

Integrated-circuit (IC) supplier AMI Semiconductor (AMIS, Pocatello, 
ID) has developed a low-power system-on-chip (SoC) solution for a 
new implantable glucose monitoring system developed by DexCom. The 
application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) transmits information 
from the implanted sensor over the 402-to-405-MHz medical implant 
communications service (MICS) band reserved for implantable devices. 
According to Kirk Peterson, AMIS wireless product manager, "Our 
ASTRIC technology with its quick start oscillator proved crucial to 
reach the very low power consumption allowed for the RF 
communication." The specifications for the AMIS solution were 
developed in close collaboration between the engineering teams at 
DexCom and AMIS and required extremely low power consumption due to 
implant longevity and size restrictions. The total average current 
drain from the battery is less than 3 microamperes.  The AMIS SoC 
includes a 32-kHz oscillator, current and voltage references, 
high-precision analog-to-digital converter (ADC), digital filtering, 
and sensor bias running at 100-percent duty cycle, and a low-duty RF 
section. Andy Rasdal, president and CEO of DexCom, notes "The 
performance of the AMIS solution is very impressive, considering the 
ultra-low power consumption requirements and other unique features 
of the device."

AMI Semiconductor --->
DexCom --->

4. News

Computer Simultation Technology (CST) has announced the latest 
version of its three-dimensional (3D) time-domain electromagnetic 
(EM) simulator, version 2006 of the CST MICROWAVE STUDIO. The new 
version features a major redesign in the architecture and new 
functionality. The software uses the CST DESIGN ENVIRONMENT as a 
common access point to the company's solver technology, and 
simplifies the comparison of models and cosimulations through a new 
multi-document interface. According to Jonathan Oakley, 
vice-president of sales and support for CST of America, the new 
version is the culmination of many years of research and development 
into the most efficient and accurate computational solutions to 3D 
electromagnetic problems." He added that the new software version 
offers "an unrivalled time domain solver, a state-of-the-art 
frequency-domain solver, and an even more powerful CAD interface" 
help design engineers to increase their design throughput. The new 
version supports easy coupling of EM simulation with circuit and 
thermal analysis, a complete tetrahedral frequency-domain solver, an 
improved interface with Cadence Allegro, automated cosimulation with 
the Advanced Design System (ADS) software suite from Agilent 
Technologies, a new distributed computing scheme to minimize data 
transfer time, and JEDEC-compliant automated bond wire creation. 

CST ---

5. News
Keithley Contest Winner Rewards Cal Lutheran University

Giving is better than receiving, according to Dr. Ira Goldberg of 
California Lutheran University (CLU). After winning a test system as 
part of a promotion sponsored by test-equipment supplier Keithley 
Instruments (Cleveland, OH), Dr. Goldberg (Professor of Chemistry 
and Physics at CLU) turned around and donated the test system to his 
favorite university. The Keithley equipment included a model 2015 
total harmonic distortion digital multimeter, model 2701 
Ethernet-based data acquisition system, model 2700 data acquisition 
system, and two model 7700 switch modules, is now being used in 
CLU's Chemistry and Physics labs to help shorten the time it takes 
to collect and analyze data. Researchers can collect experimental 
data and send it to a computer for immediate analysis and then gain 
online access to data at their desks for review and reporting. As 
Dr. Goldberg noted, "Keithley equipment is particularly well-suited 
for these applications because of its easy set-up for computer 
networking. This is especially important in our new 
physics-bioengineering research program, which is multidisciplinary 
and requires several different laboratories to address a particular 
problem." Eventually, this equipment will be interfaced with 
Keithley instruments in other CLU labs, including those in the new 
physics-bioengineering building.

Keithley Instruments --->

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6. News
VXI Technology Selects Agilent's I/O Library Suite

VXI Technology has selected the Agilent I/O Libraries Suite as the 
standard I/O platform for its LXI products. The software simplifies 
and accelerates the process of connecting test instruments. It 
supports automatic detection of instruments connected to a personal 
computer, automatic interface configuration, and verification of 
connected instruments that mix Ethernet/LAN, VXI instruments, GPIB, 
RS-232 and USB, as well as a variety of software environments from 
multiple vendors. According to Jon Semancik, business development 
manager for VXI Technology, "By developing around Agilent's open I/O 
libraries, we are able to provide our customers with an 
industry-standard VISA layer, ensuring a forward-looking platform 
for application-software developments." He added "our LXI products 
and Agilent's I/O libraries also allow our customer base to develop 
complete test solutions in virtually any programming language." LXI 
combines built-in measurement science and PC-standard I/O 
connectivity of rack-and-stack instruments with the modularity and 
size reduction of cardcage-based systems. The LXI standard provides 
a basis for long life-cycle instrumentation implementations that are 
not limited by bandwidth, software or computer-dependent 

Agilent Technologies --->
LXI Consortium --->
VXI Technology --->

7. News
Meca Launches Microwave Isolators/Circulators

Meca Electronics (Denville, NJ) has announces a series of 
RF/microwave isolators and circulators with coaxial connectors. 
Available with both Type N and SMA connectors, the components 
operate at frequencies from 0.8 to 8.0 GHz. Insertion loss ranges 
from 0.4 dB at the lowest frequencies to 0.6 dB at the highest 
frequencies, with maximum VSWR of 1.35:1 for all models. Isolation 
ranges from 20 dB at the lowest frequencies to no less than 17 dB 
from 2 to 4 GHz. For more information on the isolators and 
circulators, visit the company's web site.

Meca Electronics --->

8. News
EPX Microwave Releases First Switch Catalog

EPX Microwave has announced a new catalog with details on a complete 
line of electromechanical switches for applications from DC to 26.5 
GHz. The components include single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) 
switches; single-pole, multithrow switches; double-pole, 
three-throw switches; and transfer switches. The switches are 
available with a variety of different connector types and actuator 
voltages, as well as a long list of options that include status 
indicators, TTL drive, and internal terminations. For a copy of the 
free catalog, visit the company's web site.

EPX Microwave --->

9.  Happenings - Conferences
Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG)
66th Microwave Measurements Conference
December 1-2, 2005
Marriot Hotel, Washington, DC

International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM)
December 5-7, 2005
Hilton Washington Hotel
Washington, DC

IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium
January 17-19, 2006
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA

RF & Hyper
March 21-23, 2006
La Defense, Paris, France

IMAPS International Conference on 
High-Temperature Electronics (HiTEC 2006)
May 15-18, 2006
Hilton of Santa Fe
Santa Fe, NM

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Read past issues of Microwaves and RF (MWRF) UPDATE e-Newsletter:

Technical Director: Jack Browne
mailto:[email protected]

Associate Editor: Laurie Collins
mailto:[email protected]

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