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29 November 2007


Microsemi acquiring MDT for $7.8m

Microsemi Corp of Irvine, CA, USA, which designs and manufactures analog and mixed-signal ICs and high-reliability semiconductors, has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of and Microwave Device Technology Corp (MDT) of Westford, MA, USA for $7.8m.

The acquisition will enable Microsemi to both enter into the sensor market and expand its portfolio of microwave semiconductors by adding GaAs microwave diodes. “By adding GaAs devices to our present silicon product line, we will increase our frequency band of coverage from 24GHz to 110GHz,” says John Caruso, VP and general manager of Microsemi's Lowell Division. “Additionally, we have added millimeter components to our existing silicon product line, thus utilizing our GaAs capability for high-frequency transceivers that support such products as intrusion alarms, motions and speed detectors and other sophisticated sensor products.” MDT is MIL-S-19500 qualified, and customers include Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, John Deere, LM Ericcson, Nokia, and Fujitsu.

“We see this combined business providing sound value for all our customers, employees and Microsemi investors alike,” says president Dr T.B. Ramachandran, who founded MDT in 1988.

“We saw significant synergy with MDT,” says Microsemi’s VP of business development, Rob Adams. “Like Microsemi, MDT is a sole-source supplier to many of Microsemi's existing high-reliability semiconductor customers and its business model matches our gross margin profile for this market.” MDT had sales of just over $7m in the past 12 months.

“Microsemi has a long history of successfully integrating and leveraging private high-reliability suppliers,” says Microsemi’s president and CEO James J. Peterson. Significant efficiency gains are possible on the operational level as well as on the business opportunity level, he believes.

Completion of the acquisition is expected by the end of 2007.

*In mid-November, fabless firm Wavesat Inc of Montreal, Canada, which designs WiMAX broadband wireless network chips, chose Microsemi’s LX5530 5.8GHz wireless LAN power amplifier (PA) for its latest WiMAX Mini-PCI designs.

The LX5530 is the latest in a series of WLAN PAs supporting the 5.8GHz WiFi and WiMAX chipsets. The device uses InGaP HBT technology with a single low-voltage 3.3-5V supply in a three-stage MMIC device, 3mm square, with active bias and on-chip input matching. With greater than 28dB power gain across the entire 4.9-6.0GHz band, it offers 21dBm output power at 5V supply voltage and 250mA quiescent current.

The LX5530 supports Wavesat’s 802.16d WiMAX chipset, and is designated in Wavesat reference designs for access point, card bus, and Mini PCI WiMAX applications.

See related item:

Microsemi enters SiC epiwafer supply agreement with SemiSouth

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