Delphi Technologies Inc., Forms New Antenna Company
TROY, Mich. — Delphi Technologies Inc. (DTI), a Delphi Corp. (PINKSHEETS: DPHIQ) subsidiary, in conjunction with Michigan State University and Automation Alley have formed a new antenna company called Monarch Antenna, Inc., company officials announced today.
Monarch has been created to commercialize innovative Self-Structuring Antenna (SSA) technology, developed by Delphi and Michigan State University. The business will be predominantly focused on high-growth wireless segments.
The new company will be headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., at SPARK, a Michigan SmartZone. The location will allow Monarch engineers to take advantage of SPARK’s incubator facilities while being relatively close to MSU’s antenna facilities in East Lansing, Mich.
SSA uses a microprocessor-based feedback system to alter its electrical shape through RF relays, allowing it to dynamically respond to changes in the RF signal environment — and thereby providing a robust performance in mobile applications. The technology will benefit directly from the advances in the RF relay/switch technologies such as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS-) in applications beyond 24 GHz, which is the operational limit for today’s state-of-the-art solid-state relays.
The new company will have its day-to-day operations managed by Dr. Tayfun Ozdemir, who will serve as Monarch’s chief technical and operating officer. Ozdemir, 44, has been the CEO of VirtualEM, a R&D business focused on developing modeling software for antenna systems for the U.S. Navy under federal grants.
“Antenna technologies are rapidly evolving to respond to increased demands of the wireless applications,” said Tim Forbes, director for Delphi’s new markets, commercialization and licensing. “Delphi and MSU have developed a premium level antenna technology that is elegantly sophisticated and can potentially provide enhanced and reliable two-way communication link while reducing the complexity of multiple antennas in devices.”
Antenna performance determines, to a great extent, how well the wireless device will perform its functions. Major disappointments for consumers with today’s wireless devices are dropped calls, poor line quality, “dead spots” and short battery life, all of which can be traced to poor antenna performance. Antenna shortcomings are also slowing down the release of third- and forth-generation (3G and 4G) devices because such devices require more bandwidth for richer content delivery. SSA technology has the potential to address the issues cited above while offering an integrated antenna solution for a multitude of services such as Cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and WiMax.
Ready to develop prototypes, Monarch will initially seek original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and supplier development contracts to confirm, design, prototype and validate SSA for a wide range of applications including laptops, home entertainment systems, computers, routers, military networks, cell phones, consumer products and automotive.
Delphi’s decision to support the formation of Monarch is the latest step in DTI’s efforts to commercialize and license technologies and methods, which have strong potential benefits in alternative new markets.
“The formation of Monarch follows the creation of SpaceForm, Inc., in 2005, and is another example of Delphi’s strategy to place promising non-core technologies into start-up companies that partner with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and strategic partners who are committed to building a successful start-up company,” said Jayson D. Pankin, new venture creation specialist at Delphi Technologies, Inc., and co-founder of Monarch.
Monarch has been selected to participate at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium in Ann Arbor in May 2007 and to present a scientific paper at the Antenna Systems Conference, in Denver in September 2007. Monarch’s technology was also selected for presentation at Navy’s Advanced Technology Review Board meeting held in Lexington Park, Maryland in April 2007.
Funding for the company comes from an investment by Automation Alley, southeast Michigan’s business organization dedicated to advancing business opportunities through the development of new technology applications. Delphi’s support will be provided through a SSA license. MSU will also contribute a license to SSA technology which together with Delphi’s license will give Monarch a potentially dominate intellectual property position in the self structuring antenna field. In addition, Monarch is seeking grant funding from the federal government for military applications.
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