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ADI swallows Hittite, gains acquisition skill By Peter Clarke Mike Britchfield, recently appointed as vice president of European, Middleeast and Africa sales at Analog Devices, has provided EE Times Europe with some of the thinking that goes along with his company’s $2 billion acquisition of Hittite Microwave Corp (Chelmsford, Mass.) The deal was announced in June 2015 and closed a month later. Mike Britchfield, recently appointed as vice president of European, Middle-east and Africa sales at Analog Devices, has provided EE Times Europe with some of the thinking that goes along with his company’s $2 billion acquisition of Hittite Microwave Corp (Chelmsford, Mass.) The deal was announced in June 2014 and closed a month later. In short, Britchfield said, the deal was about high frequency electronics, which is going to become more common, even ubiquitous, across multiple markets that Analog Devices already serves. But it may also be about Analog Devices continuing to go after small and large acquisition Mike Britchfield, recently appointed as vice president of European, Middle-east and Africa sales at Analog Devices targets and be an acquirer rather than an acquisition. Analog Devices’ history is in data conversion and signal conditioning but with an increasing capability in radio frequency electronics. So not only has Analog Devices business gradually moved from being about generic building blocks to more application-specific sub-systems at the IC and packaged component level, but many of those applications are moving from single-digit gigahertz frequencies up to microwave and millimeter wave frequencies. “We could see a large jump in frequency was coming and the acquisition puts us in a position to do almost everything from antenna to bits,” said Britchfield. Fabless Hittite has strength in the communications infrastructure and military-aerospace sectors, which is also complementary to ADI’s strength in automotive, industrial, healthcare and consumer electronics. The fact that Hittite is based close to ADI (Norwood, Mass.) and has a similar culture – both companies were founded by engineering graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, should make integration go smoothly. Hittite made a net income of $70.9 million on annual sales of $273.8 million in 2013. The sales were up by 3.6 percent from $264.4 million for 2012 and net come was up 3.4 percent from $68.6 million in 2012. For comparison Analog Devices made net income of $673.5 million on revenues of $2.63 billion in its 2013 fiscal year which ended on Nov. 2, 2013. “Hittite has 25 years of RF and microwave design experience in gallium arsenide, silicon-germanium and gallium nitride, that is difficult to replicate organically,” said Britchfield. “We bought revenue but most importantly we bought expertise and the potential for cross-fertilization with conversion,” said Britchfield. “At Analog Devices we are experts in our own processes and this acquisition helps develop the synergy to supply optimized chip sets and build from application knowledge.” Britchfield continued: “We have over $1 billion of annual sales in conversion products. With this acquisition we are building another pillar of the business in RF and microwave. This was a big decision for Analog Devices.” And it might not be the last Britchfield hinted: “Previously we grew through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. We will continue with smaller acquisitions. But we need to be able to do an acquisition of the size of Hittite. It may take a year to fully integrate Hittite but this gives us the capability to do it again.” AMP consortium reveals first standards for distributed power By Paul Buckley The Architects of Modern Power (AMP) consortium have revealed the organization’s first standards aimed at establishing common mechanical and electrical specifications for the development of advanced power conversion technology for distributed power systems. The initial standards cover digital point-of-load (POL) and advanced bus dc-dc converters and are being demonstrated by AMP at electronica this week. The goal of the alliance between CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata is to realize the most technically advanced, end-to-end solutions and provide a complete ecosystem of hardware, software and support. Beyond purely mechanical specifications, it is the standardization of monitoring, control and communications functions, and the creation of common configuration files for plug-and-play interoperability that will ensure compatibility between each firms’ products. Two standards have been defined for digital point-of-load converters. The ‘microAMP’ specification covers supplies rated at 20 to 25 A in vertical and horizontal configurations, while the ‘megaAMP’ defines requirements for 40 to 50 A vertical and horizontal units. For advanced bus dc-dc converters the ‘ABC-ebAMP’ standard relates to advanced bus bricks measuring 58.42 x 22.66 mm and ranging from 264 to 300 W. For quarter-brick supplies, measuring 58.42 x 36.83 mm and ranging from 420 to 468 W, the Group has defined the ‘ABC-qbAMP’ standard. These standards detail mechanical footprints, features, and configuration files. AMP Group spokesperson and CUI VP of Advanced Power, Mark Adams, commented: “Following the launch of Architects of Modern Power last month, the release of these standards marks an important first step on our shared technology www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe December 2014 23


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