Parts obsolescence is a real
issue in high-reliability electronics like aerospace and defense
systems. Uncle Sam spends $10B per year managing and mitigating
electronics obsolescence issues according to an April 2008 article
in the IEEE Spectrum.
It's a tough job, but someone
has to keep track of where all the dead nameplates of microwaves
go. And that's us! Why is this little bit of history important?
Picture this: you need to find replacement parts for receiver that
used custom Q-bit amplifiers that you paid big bucks for back in
1990-whatever. Q-bit doesn't exist. What would you rather do, reinvent
the wheel, or track down the company that inherited all of their
Speaking of "where are they
now", bad actor Chuck Norris and his toupee were last seen in 2008 both
campaigning with a man who doesn't believe in dinosaurs,
perhaps hoping to become U.S. Secretary of Third World Beatdowns! Mike Huckabee has more recently (2012) has been hawking fried chicken to obese bigots, boy scouts and baptists at Chick-Fil-A, when he is not spewing foolishness for Fox News.
Speaking of Chick-Fil-A, it looks like two Alaskans finally got jobs they are qualified for... just need to practice up on the national, four syllable, 100 millisecond word: "mayihelpyou?"
We present an alphabetized list
of dead microwave nameplates below. Audience participation is important
to building the database, most of the content was contributed one
or two companies at a time by alert readers. Any new info or corrections
that anyone has, please send
it in and we'll add it to the list. Our policy is NOT to put
contact info for these companies, unless they throw us some cash!
We take zero responsibility for the accuracy of the info on this
page (or any of the opinions for that matter), it is for your amusement
only, don't reference it when you are on Who
Wants to be a Millionaire!
is a site that shows the background of the various top tier
defense contractors. We are more interested in components here at
Microwaves101, so we won't be getting into which companies make
up LockMart, Boeing, GD, etc.
Here's some questions that readers
have asked... if you know, clue us in!
What is the story with PRD (Polytechnic Research and Development)? Among other things, they made variable vane attenuators.
Someone is looking for info on
Electronic Surveillance Company (ESC), in regards to a Gunn
oscillator (14.4 GHz) and would like to find an equivalent one at
18.0 GHz. Any help is (as usual) most appreciated! See
Remember Tachonics, of
Plainville New Jersey, makers of MESFET MMICs? Seems like they just
vanished into thin air.
Now on to our growing list!
Acrian: this according to Lyle:
Acrian was started by some folks from CTC, including me, in 1978. We acquired CTC in 1981 from Varian. Company closed in 1991, assets and technology sold to both Ericcson and GHz Technology.
Adams-Russell was folded
into M/A-COM a long time ago.
Founded in 2004, Auriga Measurement
Systems (Lowell MA) united Agilent Technologies' high-profile
east coast Component Test Systems group and ACCO USA's modeling
and characterization teams.
AEL (American Electronic
Laboratories, Inc.) of Colmar, Pennsylvania, maker of antennas,
microwave components, solid state devices and microwave instruments
is now part of BAE Systems- Electronics & Integrated Solutions
in Landsdale, Pennsylvania. Thanks again to Steve! AEL was part
of BAE but was bought by Cobham in 2008, according to Ralph.
AEP is now a Radiall
Company. Ben Travelli made arrangements to sell AEP to Radiall,
just before he passed away in 2005. Thanks, Greg!
Aertech was founded in the late 1950s or early 60s by Fred Schumacher and Harold Harrison and became TRW Microwave in 1974 (we believe). Here is a site created by Brooke Clark that gives a detailed history of Aertech.
Here is some Aertech info from Tom provided this account of what it was like to work at Aertech (TRW Microwave) from 1975-78. It sounds like a good place to work:
Aertech had a large lot, on which stood a building that Signetics rented, the old building (building 1), a new 2-story building (building 2, later on the company shrunk into this), and a third one, with stores in it, among others, De La Cruz Deli... If you walked across the parking lot between the buildings, it seemed convenient to stop by for a beer or to play a little pool during working hours! As Aertech did not have a paging system, and if I could not find someone by phone in either building, I'd check the deli also.
AIL (Airborne Instruments
Laboratories) had merged with EDO and has since sold
to ITT. AIL used to be in Deer Park, NY and has relocated a few
miles away to Amityville, NY. Yep, the same town as the Amityville
Horror house. Thanks, Marian!
Alford Manufacturing was started by Andrew
Alford, who designed the FM antenna on top of the Empire State
Building during his long career. Brian has helped us figure out what happened to the company:
Alford manufacturing were taken over by Teleplex Inc in 1991. Things seemed to get a little messy going by the google hits about court cases. I can't find much about Teleplex online but it would appear that they are now Broadcast Services Inc. operating from Indianapolis. I did, however, find a web reference to an Alford division in Mass but can't track anything down. I find it all rather sad actually - so much technology and expertise just disappeared.
Here's one link if anyone wants to dive down the rabbit hole and look for more info in Alford.
Alpha Industries is part
of Skyworks. Alpha Industries sold off its commercial millimeter
products group which became Advanced Frequency Products (AFP).
Advanced Frequency Products was bought by ST Olektron. ST
sold off the AFP group to Endwave.
What was once American Electronic
Laboratories (AEL Industries) is now part of BAE we have heard.
Industries, a manufacturer of microwave connectors and components,
merged with Omni-Spectra in the 70's and the founder and CEO of
Americon, Bevin V. Cherot became the CEO of Omni Spectra until purchased
by M/A-Com. Thanks to Brian!
made an offer to acquire AML Communications in early 2011.
However, Microsemi came in a month later and made a better
offer, and AML Communications was sold to Microsemi. Anaren is a
separate company and is not related to or part of Microsemi. Thanks
Amplica of Newbury Park,
CA was originally bought by Comsat, then by Triax,
and finally by Charter Technologies before it was dismembered
and scattered to the winds. Some of the original significant technical
talent and founders are now involved with CAP Wireless, Inc.
also in Newbury Park, CA. Thanks for the update, Scott! According
to the US Government CAGE lookup table, at some point, Amplica was
doing business as Amplifier Acquisition Corp. (or vice-versa),
but that's a story for another day!
PA) is part of Spectrum Microwave.
Anzac became part of M/A-COM,
which was bought by AMP, which is now part of Tyco.
This is very old: ARCO
was Applied Radiation Corporation (Walnut Creek, CA), a manufacturer
of microwave linear accelerators and high power microwave waveguide
elements (pulse modulators, waveguide couplers, adapters, windows,
tuners, etc.) became the ARCO Division of High Voltage Engineering
(c. 1965), and was later sold (c. 1970) to Siemens Medical Systems
(Concord, CA). Thanks Dennis!
Applied Wave Research
was bought by National Instruments in July 2011 for $58M.
Arcom was bought by Dover
and then closed. LNX Corporation bought the assets from Dover
and they are now making products that Alpha (Skyworks) and
others no longer make. Thanks, Philip!
Atlantic Microwave Corporation is
part of Cobham DES. However, Atlantic Microwave Limited - an RF & microwave component manufacturer and distributor with headquarters in Essex, UK is a privately owned limited company. Thanks to Paul for providing this important distinction.
Avantek was purchased
by H-P Semiconductor, which became part of Agilent.
As of December 2005, the Avantek division of HP that spun off to
Agilent Technologies was sold and morphed into Avago. Got
Some of the Avantek road kill
was picked up by the microwave design scavengers at Avnet... Teledyne
(via Teledyne Cougar) bought the assets of Avnet-MTS (MTS
meaning "microwave technical solutions") late in October
2005. Believe it or not, you may actually be able to buy that Avantek
amp from Cougar. If Cougar doesn't sell it or a replacement part,
they actually stock a fair amount of the old Avantek die, according
This info from JS, on Avantek
"Once Avantek started
to vanish, there were a couple spinoffs. DBS Microwave
and Milliwave Technologies.
DBS sold itself to
Narda Microwave, the founders got rich, the employees got
"thank you". Narda then consolidated DBS into their
Narda West operation in Folsom. In doing so a lot of DBS employees
Other spinoffs from DBS
and Milliwave are ALC Microwave, Aldetec and Phase
One Microwave. ALC is in El Dorado Hills and seem to be doing
well. Aldetec is in Sacramento and they also are doing well. Phase
One is in Rocklin and they are surviving but their management
is too young and inexperienced.
Another Avantek spinoff
is Genesis Microwave in El Dorado Hills.
This info came from Fritz:
A chunk of Avantek that
survived the HP acquisition which was then sold to Powerwave
Technologies just recently had it's doors closed. ~20 or so
old Avantek workers now find themselves without a job.
A previous layoff off of Powerwave engineers (ex-Avantek also)
formed a consulting firm called Telemakus LLC.
Milliwave sold itself
to TRW Space and Electronics Group, and stayed in Diamond
Springs. TRW subsequently sold them to Endgate Corporation,
then the combined operation then became Endwave. Manufacturing
remained in Diamond Springs, but all engineering, sales and marketing
went to Sunnyvale. The founders of Milliwave are now founders
of Norden Millimeter located in Placerville, CA.
And another update from Fritz,
The saga continues for the
old Avantekers. ALC Microwave was recently purchased by
Endwave. Then Endwave merged their Diamond Springs facility
and the ALC Microwave group from El Dorado Hills into a new facility
back in Folsom near the old Avantek building. Last week, it was
announced this division (Def & Security) of Endwave is now
sold to Microsemi. The result is Endwave is now back to
just being the old Endgate company.
In June 2007, AVX announced
its intention to acquire American Technical Ceramics.
AWR was bought by National Instruments in 2011.
Balo: who knows where
Ed Raposa is, but the "Raptek" housing company of beautiful
Butler New Jersey is long gone!
originally in Beverly, MA, I believe was bought by Varian Associates
around 1961-62. Bomac was one of three sources of microwave diodes
(1N21, 1N23, 1N58 etc.) as well as some magnetrons. The other
two microwave diode firms were Sylvania in Woburn, MA, and Western
Electric (in NY?)
See Bomac's historical ads on
this page, they
are a riot!
was bought by Mimix Broadband in 2005, Mimix kept the product
line, and later sold the Celeritek GaAs fab to Universal Semiconductor
Technology, Inc. (USTI).
Celeritek Defense Group
was sold to Teledyne Microwave and relocated from Santa Clara to
Mountain View. Thanks to Mark!
Microwave Company (CMC) of St. Charles, MO built primarily Gunn
diode based products and later some FET amplifiers. CMC was formed
by Jim & Dee Caldwell, Dr. Robert Goldwasser, Dr. Fred Rosenbaum
(both of Washington University, St. Louis), William Meyers, and
Darrel Bengfort. Most had met while working for Varian. CMC
was sold to Alpha Industries around 1982. Owners got rich,
employees got thank you. CMC moved to Maryland Heights, MO around
1984. Around 1989 (recall aerospace cutbacks) work was pulled back
to the mothership in Woburn MA and the CMC facility was shuttered.
Thanks to Bobby for the input!
Codan’s Satcom Group was sold to CPI in May 2012. Thanks to Graham!
Communications Transistor Corp. (CTC) was a Varian funded startup in the late '60's started by some folks from Fairchild. Absorbed by Varian in 1975 and sold to Acrian in 1981. Thanks to Lyle!
Compact Software is part
Connecting Devices Inc.
(CDI) was bought by Tensolite.
Conexant is part of Skyworks.
Conexant (previously Rockwell International) spun off
the GaAs (Newbury Park) portion of the fab to Skyworks (previously
Alpha Industries) and the other fabs became Jazz Semiconductor.
Jazz merged with Tower in September 2008 and is now called
TowerJazz. Tower was a National Semiconductor spinoff. TowerJazz
is headquartered in Israel and publicly traded on NASDAQ and the
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Continental Microwave and
Tool was acquired by Chelton, which is now part of Cobham
Corning Frequency Control
is part of Vectron International as of 9/1/04
Cougar Components was
bought by Teledyne in June 2005.
CSF (Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil) was merged with Thompson in 1968. Today Thompson CSF is part of Thales.
CTI is now part of Herley.
This info on the whereabouts
of Dexcel and other companies is courtesy of George, with some edits
by other contributors.
(an early GaAs MESFET company) was bought by Gould in 1985.
Dexcel/ Gould was later bought by Litton Solid State, who
bought out Harris Microwave in Milipitas and Varian
Semiconductors in Santa Clara. Later, Litton Solid State became
Filtronic Solid State in the 1990s. In 2004, Teledyne
Microwave bought the military operations of both Filtronic
Solid State and Celeritek. Filtronic S.S. kept the semiconductor
/ fab technology while Mimix Broadband bought Celeriteks
semiconductor operations (which have since been sold!) Teledyne
Microwave can help with legacy products of Dexcel/ Gould as well
as Filtronic Solid State and Celeritek.
By the way, not only is
the old Hyletronics part of Teledyne, and Ferretec
is as well. Teledyne also bought KW Microwave (April 2006)
and Cougar Corp of Sunnyvale in June 2005."
What happened to Demornay-Bonardi?
The answer comes from Ken: The rights to the Demornay-Bonardi
product line were bought by Systron-Donner. In 1991 when
I needed D-B parts, Systron-Donner was the vendor. I do not know
for sure if there was/were (an) intermediary owner(s) between the
original dB and Systron-Donner. When Systron-Donner had the line,
all the standard gain horn model numbers were the old dB numbers.
Systron Donner sold the rights
to dB to STC Microwave Systems, which is a division of Crane
Aerospace and Electronics. I don't know if STC Microwave was
part of Crane when the dB acquisition occurred. STC Microwave in
turn sold the rights to the Demornay-Bonardi product line to Penn
Engineering, which substituted all new model numbers for the
horns, but they are the same old dB parts. Thanks Ken!
Ducommun LarBarge's history is traced out below, thanks to Rich. We wish we had more diagrams like this!
Digital Microwave is now
Stratex (thanks to JC!)
Eagleware: as of August
2005, this employee-owned company is now part of Agilent,
which claims it won't meddle with the Eagleware-Elanix software
products. Yeah, sure they won't, ask the EEsof employees
that once worked for Hewlett Packard...
EDO Corporation dates back to 1925, and is named after Earl Dodge Osborn. After WWII they became known for C4 and EW systems such as ALQ99 (a jammer). In 2007 EDO was bought by ITT for $1.7B, which spun out with other operations in 2011 as Exelis. Recent problems with programs have cause Exelis to close the EDO plant in Thousand Oaks, and fire their executive vice president ("retirement" is how the put it in the press release).
EEsof was another sort
of spin-off of Amplica, by Bill Childs and Chuck Abranson
about 1983. EEsof was acquired by HP in 1993 and later spun out
as part of Agilent in 1999 thus becoming Agilent EEsof EDA. Octavius
Pitzalis, one of the EEsof team and one hell of a nice guy, was
killed years ago driving his sports car.
EEV: "English Electric
Valve" was part of Marconi for a while, and is now an
independent company called E2V, since 2002. Thanks, Brian!
EG&G – Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier:
In 1999 The corporate board bought Perkin Elmer Instrumentation and after selling off the Defense contracts, the original name and the original logo to the Carlyle Group the hid the identity of the original company under the Perkin Elmer flag. (Similar to Allied signal becoming Honeywell after Allied Signal bought Honeywell). In August of 2002 the Carlyle group sold off the defense and technical services of EG&G to the URS Corporation. The use of EG&G name and logo continued until January 2010 when use of all secondary logos stopped. The manufacture of the spark gaps, thyratrons (such as the HY5 and HY10) flash tubes and pulsed transformers (the original equipment that made EG&G ) continued with the Perkin Elmer logo. In November 2010 the portion of the company that made these high voltage products was spun out as a separate company now named/called Exceliates Technologies. They are still in the same plant.
EIP Microwave used to
make the frequency counters that you'd need because "sweepers"
drifted all over the place (before "synthesizers" were
available). EIP Microwave went out of business in 1998, their assets were purchased by two employees and they re-emerged as Phase Matrix, which is now a subsidiary of National Instruments since 2011. Thanks to Steve!
EMF Systems (known for good DROs) got bought by Spectrum Microwave, State College, PA. Spectrum has massively increased the size of the complex and added clean room and hardboard capabilities. Rumor has it that work is being moved from Palm Bay, FL and Philadelphia, PA to this new facility in State College, PA... thanks to Gene!
This entry came in from Patrick...
(1969 Microwave Tube joint venture between EMI and Varian) became
Thorn EMI Varian in 1979 when Thorn merged with EMI. The
JV with Varian was allowed to lapse in 1989 and the remaining
UK company became Thorn Microwave Devices Ltd a subsidiary
of Thorn EMI Electronics. As part of Sir Colin Southgate's grand
plan to increase shareholder value by making the company smaller,
the Defence Electronics businesses were disposing of and eventually
the Microwave Tube business (which by then was also making complete
amplifiers and high voltage power supplies) was bought by its
management becoming TMD Technologies LTD in 1995. Unsurprisingly
freed from corporate interference the company has grown and prospered
since then and is still manufacturing magnetrons, klystrons traveling
wave tubes and high voltage power supplies.
This info on
ESC came from Carl-Friedrich. Thanks!
You say someone is looking
for info on Electronic Surveillance Company (ESC), in regards
to a Gunn oscillator.
Maybe I’m trivial: at my
knowledge, there are two ESC companies. One is a Canadian company
dealing with surveillance equipment, the other is a NJ company
in Palisades Park. (Come
on over! - Unknown Editor)
The latter is called ESC
Electronics Corp. It was good in delay lines, but also had other
canned devices (as filters etc.). I could imagine a Gunn oscillator
would better suit this company than the Canadian. I believe the
company is still alive but inactive.
Electro-Films was acquired
by Vishay in 2000.
This info thanks
to Bob: Electromagnetic Sciences, Inc., a spin-off from Scientific
Atlanta in 1968 producing low loss ferrite circulators, isolators,
and switches for space applications. Name changed into EMS Technologies,
Inc. in 1999 (reckon that was easier to say than "electromagnetic
sciences.") The company has been, and still resides in and
around Tech Park in Norcross, Georgia. More info can be found on
site history page.
This further info came from Bob:
EMS Technologies, formerly Electromagnetic Sciences, was purchased in August 2011 by Honeywell. The ferrite components and antenna systems groups are now part of Honeywell Aerospace.
Endwave sold off their
defense and security business to Microsemi in April 2009.
Endwave has recently “merged” with Gigoptics with the suspicion
that the Endwave name will cease to be used. Thanks to Liam!
Engelmann Microwave is
now part of KDI/Aeroflex. Thanks, JJ!
Enon Microwave Inc. of
Topsfield MA has been folded into Micronetics since 2002. Whoops, it is now part of Mercury Systems!
You say You-deen-ah, I say You-dine-ah, let's call the whole think off. With apologies to George and Ira Gershwin, Satchmo and Ella...
Here's the Eudyna story from Jon:
Eudyna is said “you-deen-ah” if you are Japanese or worked for a Japanese company. By American or British pronunciation rules it should be “You-deen-ah”.
Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor Inc (FCSI) which was a division of Fujitsu, was sold to Sumitomo Electric. Being Japanese companies, they do things differently.
First a joint venture was created in 2004, 50/50 owned, which ran for five years as Eudyna. Eudyna was about 50% microwave devices and 50% lightwave devices in mostly Gallium Arsenide. Fortuitously, Fujitsu developed the world’s best Gallium Nitride, which became an important product for Eudyna. At the end of 5 years, Sumitomo Electric exercised their options to buy the rest of Eudyna from Fujitsu. Within months, Eudyna was a memory, everything went from Fujitsu red to Sumitomo Electric blue and the company became Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations (SEDI). The US sales branch is Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations USA Inc, or SEDU.
Most of the FCSI parts are still being made by the same people at the same factory now labeled SEDI. Plus a whole bunch of Gallium Nitride parts from the Eudyna days. The sales team sits at the same desks and sells the same stuff.
SEDI actually grew, a Sumitomo company called Excelite was combined in with Eudyna as part of SEDI. Excelite only made lightwave parts, so most of SEDI is now lightwave devices and subsystems. In any case, FCSI and Eudyna microwave parts are mostly still available from SEDU. Or a replacement part (usually).
SEDI (former Eudyna former FCSI) is the world leader in Gallium Nitride parts, below 3.5 GHz they have sold most of the world’s GaN. Above 3.5 GHz is another story, but that market is still fairly small.
Fairchild Microwave Products: this info came from Brian:
2513 Charleston Rd. Mountain View, CA - They developed the first multiplier/amplifier used for the Bell system "thin route" telephone. The group was funded by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore to develop microwave technology with the Fairchild transistors. The patented multiplier developed by Gene Guthrie was used in the California Microwave CM41 which retrofit all of the Backward Wave Oscillators ( BWO ) in the Bell System. The Fairchild group moved to a new building at 3500 Deer Creek rd. in Palo Alto. This business was eventually bought by HP and the products later sold to Narda which is now L-3. The Deer Creek building is now the corporate office for Tesla Motors.
Farinon Electric was bought
by Harris Corporation in 1981. Part of the company was bought
out to form M2 Global in 1999.
Part of FEI Microwave
was bought by STC Microwave Systems, a part of Crane Corporation.
This was the old TWR Microwave and much of the microwave/hybrid
group was moved to FEI (Frequency Electronics Inc.) in Mitchell
Ferretec was originally
sold to Litton Solid State, then Litton Solid State was sold
to Teledyne Microwave and relocated from Santa Clara to Mountain
View. Thanks to Mark!
Film Microelectronics Inc.
(FMI) is now SatCon Electronics.
Filtronic Compound Semiconductors
is now part of RFMD.
Frequency Sources (FSI)
became part of Loral. Their Chelmsford facility is a Superfund
This FSI info came from
When owned by Loral,
the source division of Frequency Sources was called: “Loral Microwave-FSI,”
and after Lockheed-Martin bought Loral, it merged with
Lockheed-Sanders, or tried to at least. When Lockheed-Martin sold
off Sanders, they kept the FSI operation and merged it with Missiles
and Fire Control Division whom they support to this day.
The diode operation (GHz Devices)
is now part of Microsemi in Lowell, MA.
For a time in the 70’s, the
Chelmsford Water Commissioner was also the QA manager at FSI.
FSY Microwave (Columbia,
MD) is part of Spectrum Microwave.
FXR Inc, of Woodside NY used to make frequency meters back in the 1960s. You can still find their products on Ebay! Brian has helped us with some FXR history:
Whilst FXR were definitely in Woodside, NY in the early sixties they were definitely part of Microlab/FXR by 1966 (Source: the Microwave Engineers Handbook and Buyers Guide 1966 - yes, I have been around that long!. In an ad in the book it quotes "Microlab/FXR - the combination of Microlab, Bogart and FXR". At this stage they were in Livingston, NJ. In 2001 they were taken over by Wireless Telecom Group. The name has now been shortened to Microlab with no sign of FXR on the website or the catalog (except for a little bit of the history of WTG). Strangely, the website is fxr.com! They are now in Parsippany, NJ. Most of the old legacy products have also disappeared.
Fujitsu Compound Semiconductor was a part of Eudyna for a while.
General Microwave (Long
Island) has been part of Herley since 1999.
General Microcircuits Corporation
(GMC) is also part of Herley, but the Billerica Massachusetts
facility was sold to Solid State Testing (SST).
GHz Technology was started in 1991 after the demise of Acrian (I was a principal). Sold to Advanced Power Technology which was subsequently sold to Microsemi. According to Lyle.
Gilbert, the original
inventors of those tiny push-on connectors
known as GPO, is part of Corning.
Grayzel was bought by
Harris Microwave Semiconductor
(a GaAs fab) was bought by Samsung around 1993, for a paltry
$5M. Samsung kept it until about 1998 when they sold it to Watkins
Johnson and it folded into their semiconductor business unit.
Thanks to JC! Harris sold its silicon fab to Intersil, in
1999. Thanks to Tony for pointing this out!
Hazeltine is now BAE
Systems in Greenlawn, NY (thanks Marian!)
HE Microwave, one piece
of the Hughes Aircraft Company, became part of Raytheon after
the 1997 merger, shared with Delphi Delco Electronic Systems.
Not long after Raytheon shuttered this Tucson facility, and what
was left over became part of the other parent and moved south of
Hewlett Packard: the "good
part" spun off as Agilent to make test equipment and
lose money, while the HP name survives as a purveyor of crappy computers
Hughes Aircraft is now
partly owned by Raytheon, partly by Boeing, partly
by General Motors, with some other pieces scattered to smaller
companies like Millitech and spin-offs such as DirectTV.
Hughes Gallium Arsenide Operations in Torrence CA was quickly shuttered
by Raytheon. This story came from "Twickey Wabbit" who
has entered the witness protection plan. Way back around 1997,
when Raytheon took over the Hughes missile factory in Tucson after
years of rivalry, the president of the company came for a visit,
stepping out of his bulletproof bunker in Lexington for final victory
lap. One thing he was adamant about was that the name "Hughes"
be painted over everywhere as quickly as possible, starting with
the water tower, so the welcoming committee had to step lively.
But outside the missile factory sits the Hughes Federal Credit Union,
which had nothing to do with the merger. The president of Raytheon
was rumored to have blown a gasket when he found out that he couldn't
get them to change their name to "Raytheon Federal Credit Union"
or some such. Not long after, the company petitioned the city of
Tucson to change the name of the road that the missile factory is
on, from "Hughes Access Road" to "anything but that
hated name". Didn't happen. The Hughes
Federal Credit Union still bears Howard's name proudly. And
gives out a medal bearing the name of the megalomaniac
that wanted to stamp out the good name of Hughes. Where the heck
is the Howard Hughes medal for engineers? Didn't Hughes' employees
invent the laser? What did Dennis invent?
This good news came in from Steve
B: Hughes Aircraft in Carlsbad, CA , purveyor of Automated
Wire Bonding and Die Attach systems became Palomar Technologies
in 1995 and moved to Vista, CA down the road a few miles.
The three legged stool (Y2K, Opto, Internet) led the company on
a wild VC-induced goose-chase during the bubble of 99-01, but the
company is back in Carlsbad again, and in 2006 Bruce Hueners became
President and the company is powering on its own steam. The vast
majority of hybrid and millimeter-wave folks have worked with this
company in the past, even if they don't know it!
The only pieces left of Howard
Robard Hughes' empire that bear his name are the Hughes Network
Systems, Hughes Medical Foundation and the Hughes
Federal Credit Union. The "HRL" in HRL Laboratories
officially doesn't stand for anything. HRH's 100 birthday was December
Hyletronics Corp. was
first merged into Filtronic Solid State. They are now part
of Teledyne Microwave. In their own words, "The acquisition
of Hyletronics, through Filtronics Solid State, introduced a family
of microwave switches into our product line. Teledyne Microwave
uses these switches as key building blocks in many multifunction
Inmet is part of Aeroflex.
Innowave was bought by
STC Microwave Systems, a part of Crane Corporation
(ICM) is now part of C.E. Precision Assemblies, Inc.
Founded by Werner Schuerch in Santa Clara, California, the products
that ICM has made throughout the years can only be compared to Swiss
watch or Swiss Army knife, but with much more attention paid to
IntraDyne Systems spun
out of Melabs in 1968, that died in 1970. Thanks to Ed!
iTerra is now Gigoptix.
The ITT GaAsTek foundry
in Roanoke VA was bought by M/A-COM, a part of Tyco.
Oops, make that Cobham! This foundry closed in 2010, but
has relocated to Blacksburg, VA. and has completed a fully functional
transistor 99 days after shutting down the Roanoke fab. Congrats,
and thanks, Bryan!
ITT decomposed itself into four companies in in October 2011. The Defense and Information Solutions business is now called Exelis and is headquarted in McLean VA with a major site in Clifton NJ, and 21,000 employees. Ft. Wayne, IN is the larger facility but Clifton took over due to better politics. Other ITT-Exelis sites are being shut down to reduce competition with Clifton.
Jazz Semiconductor merged
with Tower in September 2008 and is now called TowerJazz.
Tower was a National Semiconductor spinoff. TowerJazz is
headquartered in Israel and publicly traded on NASDAQ and the Tel
Aviv Stock Exchange.
JCA Technology (Jim Chao
Associates) was originally sold to New Focus which eventually
was acquired by Bookham. It was most recently sold to Endwave.
Thanks for the corrections, Dave K! Wait, what's this? Ciao Wireless,
a new company in Camarillo CA? Chao, Ciao? Yes, we get it now! Good
Johnson Components, formerly
E.F. Johnson Components, a manufacturer of microwave connectors
and cable assemblies based in Waseca, MN was purchased by Emerson
Connectivity Solutions, a division of Emerson Electric, in 2000.
KDI/Triangle is now part
K&L Microwave is now
owned by Dover Corporation. Speaking of Dover, some microwave-oriented
companies that they now own include Dielectric Laboratories,
Dow Key Microwave, Novacap, and Vectron International.
kW Microwave was bought
by Teledyne in April 2006.
Litton Airtron is part
of Cobham DES.
Locus Microwave (Pennsylvania) was acquired by Codan Limited (Australia) in 2009. More recentl,y Codan has been acquired by CPI International for up to $13.5M (May, 2012). Thanks to Graham!
Litton Solid State is
part of Filtronic. Litton Industries was eaten be
Northrop Grumman. They spit out the pieces they didn't like and
digested the rest into um... Northrop Grumman. Thanks, JJ! The first
operating division of Litton Industries was its Tube Division. This
was one of the pieces of Litton that Northrop Grumman found indigestible.
They sold the entire Division to L-3 Communications (in 2003),
and it is now known as the Electron Devices Division. But NG retained
the rights to the Litton brand themselves. Thanks Neil!
LNR Communications is
now part of L3-Narda in Hauppauge, NY. Thanks, Marian!
Logimetrics (a supplier
of traveling wave tube amplifiers for lab work, of yore) was absorbed
into IFI (Instruments For Industry). This thanks to Steve
K. from WSMR! Steve spoke with a guy at IFI that confirmed several
of the Logimetrics guys are there including him. He says they can
evaluate and/or repair the Logimetrics amps. They also have direct
replacements. This thanks to one of our best microwave detectives,
MRC, Materials Research Corporation,
merged a long time ago with MIC technologies in Texas, which
then got bought by Aeroflex. In 2004, Aeroflex exited the
thin film business, selling the Pearl River plant that was originally
MRC to Vishay, a global conglomerate. At one time the Pearl
River plant was the biggest supplier of polished 99% alumina substrates
in the world.
M/A-COM was sold by Tyco
Electronics to Cobham in 2008. Good luck guys!
The M/A-COM microwave
window group was bought by CPI (Communications & Power
Industries), Beverly Microwave group, which traces its roots to
the Varian brothers. Thanks Dennis!
Information on Magnum Microwave,
which is now part of Spectrum Microwave, from an insider:
"They were a spin-off
of some guys from WJ and did mixers and converters etc.
They were also bought by Remec and then merged into the
C&S Hybrid that Remec also bought up and was the San
Jose business unit. C&S Hybrid more or less disappeared as
business dried up. Magnum product line was sold as part of the
Wireless Access sales with QBit. One note the product drawings
etc. that you mention regarding QBit. It was my understanding
that most of the documentation, glass plates for masks etc. all
got dumped. I know the two guys who helped with the accounting
and move of the material from Magnum-C&S Hybrid after the
sale. Almost nothing of the technology remained as it was being
divested. All the old Magnum guys split up and blew to the winds."
There was more but our legal council advised us not to print it!
MDC (Microwave Development
Corp.) was bought by Chelton in 2005 as was Continental
Microwave and Tool, and their two product lines will be merged somewhere
in New Hampshire.
MDI is now part of Herley.
MDT (a GaAs house) was
acquired by MicroSemi. GunnBloke wishes "good luck to
them and even more to their customers."
Melabs: this info came
from ex-employee Norm. One of the original isolator companies from
the 50's, Melabs was sold in 1969 to Smith Corona Marchant, SCM,
the typewriter company. They sold the isolator division to M/A-COM
several years later.
This further Melabs info came
MELABS was in Palo
Alto between Varian Associates and HP. IntraDyne Systems,
the guys spun out of Melabs in 1968, that died in 1970.
More info about Melabs came from Brian:
Melabs also was in the spook business. They made receivers with IMPATT Diodes that were set up along the Turkish border with the USSR. They were located across the street from Watkins Johnson. Most of the talent at Melabs left to be in the Fairchild Microwave Products group in Mountain View.
MicroMetrics (a silicon
house) was acquired by Aeroflex. Thanks to GunnBloke!
Microwave Associates was
original name of M/A-COM, the microwave supplier known for the best
parties at symposiums. This info on the founding fathers came from
Brian and Chuck (thanks guys!) The company was started in August
1950 by four engineers, Vessarios Chiga, Louis Roberts, Hugh Wainwright,
and Richard M. Walker. Their work grew out of development work that
some of them carried out at MIT Radiation Laboratory during the
Second World War. Richard M. Walker was a Kansas native who graduated
in 1943 from the University of Kansas. The GaAs semiconductor building
in Lowell Massachusetts is named "The Walker Building"
after Richard Walker.
Micronetics is now part of Mercury Systems.
Microwave Design & Manufacturing
Inc. of Calabasas California has been part of Rantec Microwave
since 2000. Microwave Specialty Corporation was merged
into Rantec Microwave Systems in 2002.
Remember Microwave Power Devices
(MPD) on Long Island, NY? Bought by Ericsson for $110
million in 2000. Ericsson sold off the military part to Comtech,
got rid of most of most of the talent, then sold the remains to
Powerwave for $10 million three years later. Thanks for the
info from an ex-MPD guy! Update from another Powerwave alumnus:
Powerwave sold off all the big machinery and closed the NY office
in June, 2004, which killed off any vestige of MPD/Ericsson.
Microwave Semiconductor Corporation
(MSC) made state-of-the-art discrete GaAs FETs in New Jersey
in the 70's and 80's. Founded by Ron Rosenzweig, MSC was eventually
bought out by Siemens. MSC had a large facility in Billerica Massachusetts
on Executive Park Drive that they acquired from Crown Microwave,
which was sold to SDI after Siemens took over all of MSC. See Scientific
Devices Incorporated below.
The MSC guys mostly stayed
on through Siemens and SDI. It sounds like they all jumped ship
after the M/A COM acquisition. Some of them went to Frequency
Sources. The MSC/SDI facilities in Billerica made diodes, microwave
switches and limiters. As far as I know there aren't any remains
of MSC/SDI Billerica. I don’t know of any ties to Cobham.
Thanks to Tom!
This is thanks to Lyle:
Microwave Semiconductor Corporation (MSC) product line was sold to Thompson CSF in Montgomeryville, PA which combined their product lines. Thompson subsequently exited the business but employees at the PA site managed to sell the operation to Microsemi. The group then was sold to Advanced Power Technology (APT) in Bend, OR who had just acquired competitor GHz Technology. APT closed the PA facility and moved about 5% of the products to Bend. APT was subsequently sold to Microsemi, who has no idea what to do with it.
Microsemi's RF/microwave transistor product line now consists of some old products from CTC, MSC, Thompson, Acrian, APT and GHz. Also thanks to Lyle.
Microwave Solutions, Inc.
of National City, California, could possibly be considered another
"spin-off" of Avantek and then later of Amplica...
MSI was founded by Edward Teyssier who worked at Avantek from 1977-79
and then at Amplica, starting in 1979 before leaving in 1984 to
found Microwave Solutions, Inc.
MIC Technologies was part
of Aeroflex, now whatever is left of it is part of Vishay.
Midwest Microwave in Saline,
MI was purchased by Bevin V. Cherot in the early 90's designed and
developed the full range of microwave connectors and microwave components
to match Americon/Omni-Spectra/M/A-COM designs along with custom
designs primarily for military applications. Emerson Connectivity
Solutions, a division of Emerson Electric, purchased Midwest Microwave
in 2004. Operations were relocated to Waseca, MN in 2008. Also thanks
John O’Campo’s investment vehicle
GaAs Labs (http://www.gaaslabs.com/aboutus.htm
) purchased Mimix Broadband a couple of years ago and then
went on to purchase the microwave components part of M/A-COM
(with Cobham buying the rest). Last year the two were merged
and then re-branded as M/A-COM Technology Solutions, which includes
the following subsidiary companies: Mimix Broadband, Inc., M/A-COM
Tech Asia, Inc., and M/ACOM Technology Solutions (Cork) Limited.
Also M/A-COM recently sold off their ferrite business line (I’ve
been told it was bought by Trak). Thanks to Liam!
Motorola: Motorola Semiconductors
was sold off in two separate parts. The first portion to go was
the group that did the small discrete transistors, diodes and standard
logic gate ICs. This was spun off as On Semiconductors in
1999. The remaining portion of Motorola Semiconductors was spun
off as Freescale Semiconductors in 2004. Freescale built
the higher markup silicon; the DSPs, CPUs and the RF Power Transistors
(they basically own the LDMOS world). Thanks Doug! Freescale was
recently bought by an investment group led by Blackstone. Freescale
announced in May 2008 that the RF semiconductor fab in Tempe will
soon be closed.
Motorola Oscillators (TCXO)
and Filters went to CTS Wireless in about 1999 (thanks, Cam!)
Murata Erie has shortened their name to Murata. The
Murata Manufacturing Company had purchased a company in Trenton
Ontario named Erie and part of the purchase agreement was
that they kept the Erie name. But Murata Erie in Trenton has been
closed for years, and now their name is gone too.
Narda was bought by
L3Com, but the name has been preserved.
In June 2012 Nitronex announced that they were acquired by GaAs Labs LLC. GaAs Labs is a private company owned by John Ocampo, who at one point owned parts of MIMIX Broadband and M/A-COM. Those two were merged and into M/A-COM Technology Solutions and spun out as a public company earlier in 2012.
The microwave portion of Nurad
was sold off to NSI. This tip thanks to Sonny! This update
from Bruce: Nurad was purchased by Chelton Microwave (a holding
company that is part of Cobham PLC) in 1997. This business
unit then purchased the Transco antenna line (still available
for the most part). Then Chelton rolled this (and others) into Cobham
PLC. Nurad (dba Cobham Sensor Systems) is still located in
Baltimore, with many of the same people. It has the legacy antennas
and radomes on many existing airborne, sea and ground based platforms
as well as newly developed products.
Ocean Microwave (a New Jersey ferrite isolator/circulator company) became part of Anaren in 2000. Not to be confused with Ocean Microwave, founded in 2000 in Beijing China. Was that a major coincidence or what?
Omega Microwave was bought
by STC Microwave Systems, a part of Crane Corporation since 2003.
Olektron was sold to Signal
Technology Corp, which became STC Microwave Systems when
it was bought by Crane Co. Thanks to Ralph!
once one of the world's best microwave connector companies, was
gradually phased out of the M/A-COM product line when AMP
bought them. For a while, when you asked a M/A-COM (or Tyco) rep
for a connector catalog, you got a book about multi-pin headers
and other stuff, that headed straight for the recycle bin. However,
part of the original team from Omni Spectra (including Vince McHenry,
James Cheal and Jim Kubota) left M/A-COM and started anew .... incorporating
1981 as Southwest Microwave (Tempe, AZ) and are still working
on high-end microwave and millimeter wave connectors (thanks, David!)
Update August 2010! Here's good
news, Omni Spectra is back! This correction is thanks to Darryl
of XMA... "XMA", is that a play on words? "Ex-Microwave
We at XMA Corporation disagree
with Omni Spectra being gone as we purchased many of the Passive
Coaxial Components from Tyco after they had shut it down for a
couple years to look for a buyer. We are that buyer (purchased
in 2003) and the owners of the drawings, equipment, tooling, and
much more that was Omni Spectra in Merrimack, NH years ago.
We hold the trademark on
the Omni Spectra brand/name too – not just an imitator – we are
Omni is fully up and running
and if anyone is looking for one of the original part numbers
we are making most of the components that Omni Spectra had originally
the Simi Valley circulator and ferrite company named after Phyllis
and Harold Saltzman (thanks for the correct spelling, KS!) is long
gone but you can still view their catalog on the Renaissance
web site. Renaissance Electronics purchased the assets of P &
H Laboratories and MCCI Wireless in June 2003. They still manufacture
most old P & H hardware to the P & H part number/drawings.
Pacific Monolithics was
a "buzz" company of the 1990s, founded by some ex-Hughes
guys. They sold out when the selling was good, to Richardson,
in 1998. Richardson still carries the PacMono torch, selling 10
year-old MESFET products for which they contract out the wafer fab,
in case you need a one-watt cell-phone amplifier that needs 20 external
is alive and well, and here is their new web
site, in case you were looking for them. Quite a few people
have pointed this out to us, thanks everybody. Pamtech (named for
"passive microwave technology) is located in Camarillo, California. The "boss" at Pamtech, George F. Grund III (grandfather
of George F. Grund V), had this to say: "I started PAMTECH
in March 1976. It was a spin off of E&M Labs of Westlake, Ca.
after TRAK of Tampa, Fla. bought them. PAMTECH is still alive and
well in Camarillo, Ca. We still do isolators and circulators 30
Update May 2010: we
are sad to report that George Grund III passed away on April 23,
Georges Day), in his sleep. Thanks to Chuck for the update,
and Laura for the correct date.
Update July 2010, thanks
to Howard: Pamtech has now been acquired by Quinstar Inc., Torrance
CA., who will carry on making those special Pamtech devices.
Here's some notes on Penstock,
contributed by Steve at RFMW who obviously knows his stuff about
"Penstock, Inc. (a.k.a.:
Pen-Stock; Peninsula Stocking Distributor-named for the San Francisco
Peninsula-where they were located), was founded in the mid 1970’s
by Bruce White, as a stocking distributor for the low cost leader,
Mini-Circuits and the high cost leader Avantek.
Penstock morphed into one
of the largest RF and Microwave component distributors, acquiring
Waltronic Sales and Sertek Sales. Waltronic Sales
was one of the first stocking distributors for Omni-Spectra connectors
in the early 1960’s.
Avnet acquired Penstock
in 1994 along with Penstock Engineering (a.k.a.: PSElect;
which became Avnet MTS “Microwave Technical Solutions”- Sold to
Teledyne Cougar in 2005).
In 2003 Avnet jettisoned
the RF & Microwave Group of former Penstock employees located
in (South) San Jose, California.
RFMW Ltd. was founded
shortly thereafter, by former Penstock employees. RFMW Ltd. headquarters
are located around the corner from the empty Avnet MTS “Microwave
Technical Solutions” building.
Sertek Sales; distributor
for Avantek, Mini-Circuits and other RF/Microwave lines in Southern
California was acquired by Penstock/Avnet in 1995
founded in 1962 was one of the first reps and distributor for
Omni-Spectra connectors was Acquired by Penstock in 1988."
Phase Matrix was bought by National Instruments in 2011.
One Microwave went out of business sometime in the late 2000s,
but appears to have now reemerged as Wright Technologies
in Roseville, CA. Thanks to JS!
Phoenix Microwave of Telford,
PA was bought by Stellex Microwave who was bought by Tyco
and at last report was spun off to M/A-COM. Thanks, Daniel!
Plano Microwave, spin
off of UTL was bought by Sierra Nevada Corp in October 2002.
Plessey Microwave was
purchased by Stratex in 2003. Thanks, Bruce!
Premier Microwave is part
of Cobham DES.
Q-bit: this one is so
complicated, that two people so far have tried to explain it to
us! Q-bit was bought by Remec in 1997. Spectrum Controls
bought the Remec Components Business Unit in October 2004. In February
2005, Spectrum Control bought Amplifonix. Spectrum Microwave
is a wholly owned business of Spectrum Controls and consists of:
FSY Microwave located
in Columbia Maryland Salisbury Engineering located in Delmar, DE Remec Q-bit located in Palm Bay, Florida Amplifonix located in Philadelphia
All locations remain physically
where they were located before acquisitions. Q-bit parts are (for
the most part) still available, as are the parts from the other
divisions. Thanks to Mary who has worked at Q-Bit, Remec Q-bit,
and now Spectrum Microwave!
Radian Technologies is
part of Spectrum Microwave.
Radiotronix was acquired by Linx Technologies in March 2012.
was another spin-off of Amplica. Mark Killian founded RAMAR
around about 1985. Thanks to Edward!
the company no longer exists, they delisted themselves from NASDAQ
and liquidated everything to "maximize shareholder value"
(read that, "screw everyone"). Remec the nameplate lives
on, as part of Chelton. In July 2005 Chelton sold the Outdoor
Unit and Transceiver business in Poway CA to Wireless Holdings
International, for $15M. Also in July 2005 they sold their Electronic
Manufacturing Services (EMS) in Escondido CA to Veritek and Samjor.
In May 2005 they sold their Space and Defense group in San Diego
CA and Richardson TX to Chelton, a part of Cobham plc, (for
some pretty good money, $260M!). In March 2005 they sold part of
their Wireless group to Powerwave Technologies, for $118M.
In May 2004, Remec sold its Fixed Wireless Access Systems
(FWA) to Axxcelera Broadband Wireless, Inc. and sold its
Antenna and Artificial Intelligence (AI) related assets to the owner
of Optimal RF, a startup. There's more transactions involving
Remec in the past three years, but we are already bored with this
topic, you might find out more on the Remec web site, if it is still
up and running (don't count on it!)
RF Nitro is part of RF
RHG is now part of M/A-COM.
Some of this info came from Dick, other info came from Susan, daughter
of one of the founders... RHG was a manufacturer of log
amps and mixers along with associated products. It started in Farmingdale
New York in 1960, relocated to Deer Park New York some time after
1970 when they needed larger facilities. The "R" was for
Arnold Rubin, the "H" was for Ron Hirsch, and Robert E.
Gruber was the "G" in RGH. Don Neuf was one of their senior
engineers (now with Miteq along with Dave Krauthheimer and Bob Yurokso).
Robinson Labs' name was
grabbed by Herley and retired in 2000. But the founders of Robinson
Labs started a new company, RH labs, essentially in the same Nashua
New Hampshire building, and they are making the same hardware, it
is called RH Laboratories Inc. We just wish that one of these guys
was named Will Robinson, so we could say
"danger Will Robinson" whenever we see them out in
became Conexant, which spun off the GaAs (Newbury Park) portion
of the fab to Skyworks (previously Alpha Industries) and the other
fabs became Jazz Semiconductor.
Power is produced by the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance
and Haas Electronics Materials in Blacksburg VA invented a batch-manufacturing
process for printing miniature 3-D coax interconnects with air dielectric
and low-loss copper, under the DARPA 3D-MERFS Program. DOW Chemical
bought the entire Rohm and Haas company in 2008, but the PolyStrata
process is alive and well at spin-off Nuvotronics in Radford
VA, thanks to serial entrepreneurs David Sherrer and Noel Heiks.
Sage, the company that
has roots way back to the RadLab and WWII, was retired as
a nameplate by Filtronic, around December 2005. More recently
(2007) Sage has been rumored to have been sold again, this time
to TRU corporation. Wait, here the (2011) latest: what was once Sage is now Spectrum Microwave's Nashua Operation! Thanks to Bob for clearing this up!
(Delmar, Delaware) is part of Spectrum Microwave.
Sanders Associates was
bought by Lockheed, at the time the were closing their Electronics
division in New Jersey (now a Wal Mart?), then sold to BAE Systems.
Scientific Devices Incorporated
(SDI) is now part of M/A-COM (soon to be Cobham). This info
came from Dick:
SDI was a manufacturer of
silicon diodes and solid state switches and was owned by John
Caruso....most of the people ended up at Frequency Sources semiconductor
division which is now called Microsemi Microwave Products...John
Caruso is now the president of this division.
This SDI info came from Tom:
SDI started out as Crown
Microwave. They got hooked up with Microwave Semiconductor
Corporation, later MSC was acquired by Siemens. After a while
John and a couple of other management guys bought the Billerica
group and named it Scientific Devices Inc. SDI got bought by Adams
Russell who got bought by M/A-COM.
Scrantom was acquired
by Natel in 2003. Scrantom, located in Costa Mesa Cali, was
(is) a player in LTCC technology, and we're glad they are still
Semflex, a manufacturer
of flexible microwave coaxial cable and custom cable assemblies
based in Mesa, AZ, was purchased in 1994 by Sterling Holdings, owner
of Trompeter Electronics. Sterling Holdings merged with Stratos
Optical in 2003, and the consolidated business was purchased by
Emerson Connectivity Solutions, a division of Emerson Electric,
in 2007. Semflex is still co-located in Mesa, AZ with Trompeter
Electronics. Thanks, Brian!
Sierra Microwave started
out in Sacramento in 1984 making circulators, isolators, filters,
pin diode components and amplifiers, they are now owned by HEICO,
located in Georgetown, Texas and still trading but they ditched
the amplifier line before moving. Thanks to Brian! That amplifiers
that were ditched were key to the formation of Milliwave as previously
mentioned under Avantek. Thanks to Fritz!
SiGe was bought out by
Skyworks in 2011.
Silicon Wave (San Diego
Sorrento Valley area) was sold to RF Microwave Devices (RFMD).
Many of the engineering team spread out to Staccato Communication,
RF Magic, Quorum Systems, MaxLinear and Sequoia
Communications. Lots of cross breading in RFIC world. Thanks
is now RFMD (thanks for pointing this out, Nick!) Sirenza
was originally called Stanford (the name change was due to
a lawsuit with the "real" Stanford.) Founder John Ocampo
later used his considerable cash to pull together MIMIX broadband
and one of the original pieces of M/A-COM (the Lowell plant). You'd
think once you have a couple hundred million it might be time to
lay back on the beach, but we admire the cojones this took.
Spectrum Microwave's catalog
brags that they are made up of all these: Spectrum Microwave.
Combining the people, products and technologies from FSY Microwave,
Salisbury Engineering, Q-Bit, Magnum Microwave,
Radian Technologies and Amplifonix into a single operation
.... Thanks to Jake!
on Sperry Microwave/Gyroscope from Pete... Thanks!
My father worked for Sperry
Gyroscope for 35 years. By the late 80s, they had moved their
plant from Oldsmar, FL to Clearwater. By then, I think they had
already sold it to Unisys, who operated it for a short time. Ultimately,
when he retired in the early 90's, I don't remember exactly when,
it had already been sold to Hercules for several years. Hercules
was, or is, primarily a manufacturer of explosives. Since he worked
mostly in defense, I'm not entirely sure what they did at the
Clearwater plant, but I definitely remember him retiring from
Previously...this Sperry info
came from Bob...
in Gainesville, Florida shut down in the late 60s or early 70s.
In the late 70s and early 80s I worked with one of the engineers
that had moved from Gainesville to worked at the "new"
Sperry Microwave facility in Clearwater, Florida. Sperry Microwave
in Clearwater did shipboard radar systems in association with
Sperry Gyroscope out of Great Neck, NY. In the mid 80s Sperry
Clearwater was bought out by an electronics company whose name
STC Microwave Systems,
formally Signal Technology Corporation Arizona and California
Operations, has been designing and manufacturing custom Microwave
Components, Oscillators and Subsystem products for the more than
30 years and has grown to become the premier designer and manufacturer
with its Microwave Integrated Multi-Function Assembly (MFA) products.
We are recognized as a market leader in Custom Microwave Products
and Services. Hey, how did that marketing jive end up on THIS
STS (Satellite Transmission
Systems) is also part of L3-Narda in Hauppauge, NY. Thanks
Stellex is now part of
M/A-COM, which is part of Tyco. Like any happy corporate
family, the M/A-COM east coast and west coast microwave hybrid houses
enjoy some sibling rivalry, even though there is no reason to close
either one of them because they both stay very busy.
Stratex was purchased
by Harris in 2005. Harris Stratex later became Aviat.
Thanks again, Bruce!
Sumitomo Electric is now
part of Eudyna.
Switchline went to K&L
Microwave. Thanks to Jake!
Systron Donner was bought
by STC Microwave Systems, a part of Crane Corporation since 2003.
Texas Instruments: the
Defense Systems Equipment Group was sold to Raytheon, the
GaAs chip house became part of TriQuint, but the cowboy silicon
importers of Dallas still call themselves TI. Let's
relay this message that they need to hear: TXN, your stock sucks!
Products, Inc. (Camarillo, CA) merged with Datron (that's
"Datron", not "Daytron", thanks to Rohit!) Please
note that Transco/Datron became Datron Advanced Technologies
in 2001, which was further acquired by L-3 Communications
This from Howard:
Regarding the coax and waveguide
switch side of the Transco Products, Inc. history, here's the
history as far as I know.
Transco started in 1942 and by the early 1970's were based
in Venice CA, very close to Marina Del Rey. In the late 70's they
moved to Camarillo CA and become Datron/Transco Inc. The switch
line was then acquired by K&L Microwave and by the
mid 1990's K&L/Transco acquired Dow-Key Microwave.
However, Dover Corporation, the ultimate holding company
recognized that Dow-Key Microwave had by far the strongest position
in the switch market and all production was transferred to the
Dow-Key facility in Ventura around 1996.
Today (2010) Dow-Key remains part of the Dover Ceramic &
Microwave Products CMP group.
Triangle Microwave, (East
Hanover, NJ), was bought by KDI which later became partners
with Aeroflex. Thanks to Barry the Limo Guy!
TQC Test Quality Company
was founded around 1986 by former members of HP Instrument
Divisions Neely Sales Office in Palo Alto, CA. They changed
the name to Symmetrix Software around 1989-1990. They later
opened a Austin, TX sales office. In 1991-1992 they disbanded the
Santa Clara office and kept the TX office and later changed the
name to Symtx (thanks to insider JC!)
TRW Microwave started out as Aertech Industries (founders were Fred Schumacher and Harold Harrison), and later bought by TRW in the 1974. Thanks to Tom! Here is a site created by Brooke Clark that gives a detailed history of Aertech.
TRW Microwave was sold
to Frequency Electronics in Mitchell Field NY in the late
80s or early 90s. FEI changed their
name to FEI Microwave. Thanks to Nick! TRW's GaAs foundry
became Velocium, which was bought by Northrop Grumman.
TRW RF Semiconductors in Lawndale:
TRW Semiconductors was sold to Motorola when Methusela was a baby.
Site is now a hotel and Western Federal Credit Union. Thanks, Melissa!
is long gone, but not the superfund
site they left behind in Sunnyvale California. The name TRW
comes from the 1958 merger of Thompson Products and Ramo-Wooldridge.
TRW followed the "ITT model" of rapid expansion, getting
caught cheating on military contracts, polluting ground water and
putting employees at danger, then finally retrenchment into obscurity.
In addition to credit reporting, TRW produces automotive air bags,
another dual opportunity for OSHA violations and site pollution
due to highly toxic sodium azide that is used to inflate the bag.
PIN diode manufacturer Unitrode
(Watertown MA) was bought by MicroSemi years ago. Thanks
US Monolithics is now
Viasat Advanced Microwave Products. Thanks to John!
Varian is now Communication
and Power Industries Inc. (CPI). The M/A-COM radar products
group that was bought by Varian is now also part of CPI. Varian
Microwave ( Beverly, MA ) was bought by STMicroelectronics.
became part of Sirenza in May 2003.
But there is so much more to the Vari-L story... they wrote a major
chapter in the cook-book on book-cooking! What happened can is described
on the following links:
Vari-L was Enron
in miniature... except that in Vari-L's case nobody served a day
in jail, or paid any significant fine. Thanks to Meyer for supplying
the Vari-L history!
Vectronics Microwave Corporation
was acquired by Micronetics.
Velocium was never really acquired by Hittite, but ut seemed that way, as some of these parts merged into the Hittite catalog. Hittite acquired the rights to stock inventory, market and distribute the Velocium product line up to 86 GHz. Products that work above 86 GHz are still sold directly by NGC Velocium. Thanks, Fritz!
VT Silicon of Atlanta Georgia has been part of Microsemi since 2010.
Warneke Electron Tubes was a manufacturer in the Chicago area. Robert Warbecke held at least four patents on tubes, going back to 1938, back when he worked for CSF in France. Part of the Warnecke story has been provided by two contributers:
This came from Charles...
Where is Warnecke Electron Tubes, Inc. formerly in Des Plaines Illinois? Or for that matter, where were they then? Not a whole lot about them. I have an ancient 3" CRT they made it so well-designed and executed I can't even guess the G-forces its guts could withstand. It seems to be a prototype for evaluating the gun structure that wound up in a scan convertor tube. Some connection to CSF on the other side of the pond. The connection of Warnecke to microwaves is that they (Robert Warnecke and staff) were heavily involved with crossed-field amplifiers, TWTs and the like.
And this from Dan:
Northop bought Hallicrafters and Warnecke Electron Tubes and created the Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, IL. That group operated as Northrop Electron Tube Systems (NETS) for a number of years. We are still making TWT amplifiers at the Rolling Meadows IL campus, currently called the Land Forces and Self-Protection Systems Division of the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Division.
Watkins Johnson microwave
components was sold to Stellex, another piece of WJ became
part of Endwave. Stellex declared bankruptcy around year
2000, and was sold to Tyco (M/A-Com). WJ Communications
carries on the name, and owns all of those great app notes you wished
you'd saved! Update March 2008: TriQuint acquired what was
left of Watkins Johnson's MMIC line. Part numbers starting
with AG and EC (DC-6 GHz HBT amplifers) are the legacy WJ products.
WaveBand was acquired
by Sierra Nevada Corporation in May 2005.
WaveCom of Saskatchewan
changed names to VCom, awhile back. This just in from Karl:
WaveCom (FSCM28979, thanks to Lee for the correction!) became part
of Loral, now L-3 Communications, Narda West CAGE
Webb Ferrite was formed
in the 1950s by Bob Webb, who sold out to Farinon Electric
in 1977. Harris Corporation purchased Farinon in 1981, but
the original ferrite business was sold out to M2 Global in
Weinschel is part of Aeroflex.
Microwave was bought by STC Microwave Systems, a part of Crane
Corporation since 2003.
This further Western Microwave
info came from Harvey:
Around 1990 or 1991, when
Western was going down fast, Ferenc Marki took his Mixer expertise
and formed Marki Microwave. A quick web search shows that Ferenc
and son are still around.
(Baltimore area) is now part of Northrop Grumman. Say "Westinghouse"
slowly and you will notice the words "we sting", which
was an indication of their propensity to end joint contracts in
Wheeler Labs Antenna Group
is also part of BAE Systems in Greenlawn, NY (thanks, Marian!)
Wiltron is now Anritsu.
WiseWave was acquired
by Ducommun. Thanks to GunnBloke!
This came from John: Here is a follow up to WiseWave: Yonghui Shu, the owner who sold the company to Ducommun, has re-started the company as Sage Millimeter. I haven’t checked to see if they make all of the same products, but interestingly, it is at the same address as the old WiseWave.
YIG-TEK was bought by
Zeta Laboratories Inc.
of Santa Clara, California is now DRS Technologies (DRS Signal
Solutions - West) in Morgan Hill, Ca. Thanks, Steve from White Sands!