In Brief

Feb. 1, 2004

Harris and DRS to help develop unmanned combat rotorcraft

Leaders of the Lockheed Martin team developing an unmanned combat armed rotorcraft (UCAR) are hiring Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., and DRS Technologies Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y., to build electronics subsystems for the future aircraft. The Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego division in Owego, N.Y., is developing the UCAR. Engineers from the Harris Government Communications systems Division are developing communications systems for the UCAR, while experts from the DRS EW and Networks Systems unit are developing electronic warfare and networking capability for the UCAR. Other members of the Lockheed Martin UCAR team include Bell Helicopter Textron; the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory; Whitney, Bradley, and Brown; and four other Lockheed Martin business units.

Kaiser Electronics to develop helmet-mounted displays for net jet fighter

Engineers from the Kaiser Electronics business unit of Rockwell Collins in San Jose, Calif., are developing the helmet-mounted display system for the future F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Kaiser experts are doing the work under terms of a contract from Vision Systems International LLC in San Jose, Calif. Vision Systems is a joint venture of Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel, through its U.S. subsidiary EFW Inc. of Ft. Worth, Texas, and Kaiser Electronics. The contract calls for Kaiser Electronics engineers to develop helmet-mounted displays, F-35 simulators, and F-35 test platforms. For more information contact Kaiser Electronics online at

ASTM International pushes UAV performance standards

Officials of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International in West Conshohocken, Pa., are forming a new committee to develop safety and performance standards for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The committee has manufacturers of UAVs and UAV components, federal agencies, professional societies, trade associations, and universities. The new committee is called F38 on Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems, and will seek to develop standards to help UAVS operate commercially in the U.S. national airspace system. The ASTM's may consider defining standards for minimum safety and performance, flight proficiency, quality assurance, manufacturing controls, production acceptance tests, and safety monitoring. For more information contact the ASTM online at

BAE Systems improves radiation-hardening capability

Officials of BAE Systems microelectronics fabrication facility in Manassas, Va., are building 0.25-micron radiation-hardened transistors after recent foundry upgrades. Experts at the BAE Systems Manassas site produced their first 0.25-micron transistor following the initial stage of the Manassas foundry upgrade. The foundry renovations are to be finished this year, with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense Accelerated Radiation Hardened Microelectronics Program, which began in 2001. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, manages that program.

StarXpress maker gets financial boost from Intel

StarGen of Marlborough, Mass. — manufacturer of serial-switched interconnect semiconductors — received a strategic investment from Intel Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., to continue development of the StarXpress product line base on PCI Express and Advanced Switching. The investment came from Intel Capital, the investment arm of Intel Corp. The amount was not released. StarXpress includes products for switched interconnects for storage, server, communications, and embedded applications. The strategic investment from Intel follows the recent announcement of StarGen's $16 million in third-round funding from Morgenthaler Ventures, St. Paul Venture Capital, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, The Boston University Community Technology Fund, Ironside Ventures, and CommVest. For more information contact StarGen online at

Maxwell microelectronics product line earns QML 'Q' certification

Leaders of Maxwell Technologies Inc. in San Diego have qualified their microelectronics product line to the Qualified Manufacturers Listing (QML) by earning the QML class "Q" certification granted by the Defense Supply Center – Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. This QML certification and listing confirm that Maxwell's Microelectronics' design, manufacturing and other operational processes meet demanding military specifications (MIL-PRF-38535) for quality and reliability. "Having Maxwell's Microelectronic components listed on the QML is a powerful statement to our customers that the products they purchase from our company are built with carefully documented, reliable processes that ensure high quality," says Michael Everett, Maxwell's vice president of technology systems. Maxwell is working toward the higher QML-V certification for space system microcircuits. For more information contact Maxwell by phone at 858-503-3300, or online at

Vicor announces V-I Chip license to Celestica

Power specialist Vicor Corp. in Andover, Mass., is licensing electronics manufacturer Celestica Inc. in Toronto to manufacture and sell Vicor's V-I Chip (VIC), which is the building block of the new Factorized Power Architecture (FPA) that Vicor announced in April. V-I Chips deliver as much as 240 watts of power in a surface-mount ball-grid array package that occupies less than 0.25 cubic inch of space, with power densities of as much as 960 watts per cubic inch; they can deliver currents greater than 100 amps to the point of load. For more information contact Vicor by phone at 800-735-6200 or online at

Current chip processes to play role in nanoelectronics

Candidates for next-generation memory and logic chips include various nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, semiconductor nanowires, silicon nanocrystals or quantum dots, nanoscale magnetic films, and switchable molecular structures. The nanomaterial-based devices that will make it to market first will be those that can be fabricated using current chip manufacturing processes and integrated with CMOS technology, according to a report, "RGB-286 Nanomaterials in Nanoelectronics," from Business Communications Co. Inc. in Norwalk, Conn. Nanoelectronic memory products will see commercialization ahead of nanoelectronic logic products, with silicon nanocrystal nonvolatile memory, a replacement for flash, and MRAM, a "universal" memory technology, leading the pack, the report states. Carbon nanotube-based memories processed by conventional deposition and patterning techniques and molecular electronic (polymer) memories with microscale, as opposed to nanoscale, interconnects also may come into play. In the longer term, ultrahigh density molecular and solid-state memory arrays with nanowire interconnections will emerge, displacing earlier volatile and nonvolatile memory technologies and making possible 100-Gbit/cm2 storage densities. For more information contact Business Communications Co. online at

Honeywell to develop high-temperature electronics

Engineers at Honeywell Inc. in Minneapolis are set to develop high-temperature electronics for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deep Trek program for deep natural gas and oil drilling under terms of a $6 million contract. While most natural-gas wells are no deeper than 15,000 feet, DOE officials say they plan to drill to 20,000 feet and deeper, Honeywell officials say. Honeywell's high-temperature integrated circuits will be embedded in well drilling equipment to collect data for processing by aboveground computers. Honeywell engineers will develop the special integrated circuits using Honeywell's silicon-on-insulator technology designed to make the chips capable of withstanding temperatures hotter than 225 degrees Celsius continuously for as long as five years. Deep-well exploration in high-temperature reservoirs is now done blindly and without instrumentation, company officials say. For more information contact Honeywell online at

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