To further strengthen its global technology and engineering capabilities, Laird Technologies has established a novel materials research laboratory in Bangalore, India. The focus of this corporate research lab will be in development of novel materials, such as specialized absorbers, EMI protection and shielding materials, tunable and ceramic antennas, advanced thermal materials, as well as conductive plastics. For this research lab, according to Laird, a broad range of technical specialists, including physicists, chemists, and material scientists will be recruited in the coming months to staff the laboratory.

The facility is located in the International Technology Park (ITPL) in Bangalore. B. K. Chandrasekhar has been appointed director of this laboratory.

“We have strong R&D organizations in each of our businesses,” said Rick Rothenberger, technology vice president of Laird Technologies, “and we will continue to drive innovation within our businesses via dedicated R&D teams. Our new corporate research laboratory will focus on longer-term research in materials and products that will enable step-change improvements in our current and future products as well as develop products that are multifunctional in nature.”

According to Laird, the goal for 2007 is to hire 20 scientists and technicians and have the lab infrastructure fully developed and in place. By mid-2008, the company is expecting the research lab to have a technical staff of about 40. This will consist of RF engineers, electrical engineers, physicists, chemists, material scientists, as well as software engineers. The corporate research lab occupies one quadrant of a floor in the International Technology Park, a class A research park in the Whitefield area of Bangalore. “This will be a multimillion-dollar investment for us over the coming years,” stated Rothenberger.

The first major results from this lab are expected in the 16-24 month time frame. Although, incremental contribution to Laird's product development will occur within the next four to six months, said the manufacturer. The lab will work closely with our more than 25 design centers globally to deliver new leading-edge products, asserted Laird.

“Advances in active antenna solutions, possibly using MEMS or other advanced switching techniques, as well as materials to combine functions of shielding, thermal management, and isolation, which we hope to achieve from the research lab, will strengthen Laird's position as the foremost RF solutions provider for portable devices,” noted Blaine R. Bateman, Laird's director for strategic business development.

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