Merrimac Teams With Nitronex for Development of Highly Integrated Multi-Mix Power Amplifiers for Wireless Infrastructure Applica

WEST CALDWELL, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Merrimac Industries, Inc. (Amex: MRM) today announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nitronex Corporation to develop new highly integrated power amplifiers using Merrimac's proprietary Multi-Mix(R) multilayer circuit technology and high-power gallium nitride (GaN) transistor technology from Nitronex. GaN device technology is highly sought as a higher- power replacement for GaAs and LDMOS device technology in communications equipment. The discrete transistors are ideal for high-power transmitter amplifiers in third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) wireless communications systems as well as emerging broadband WiMAX base stations. Nitronex has developed and qualified a GaN on Silicon process to service the needs of both Commercial Users in the Wireless Infrastructure Industry and Military users involved in Communications, Electronic Warfare and Radar systems. The ability to deliver high power, high frequency and broadband devices with outstanding efficiency is a key reason why users in both Commercial and Military systems are designing in GaN devices now.

Because of its outstanding thermal dissipation, Merrimac's Multi-Mix(R) technology supports the design and manufacture of reliable high-power amplifiers using RF power transistor die rather than larger, more expensive packaged devices. The use of transistor die allows extensive use of automation in the amplifier manufacturing process, resulting in extremely compact, cost- effective, and highly integrated amplifiers well suited for a wide range of commercial wireless infrastructure applications, including cellular and WiMAX basestations.

Multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology provides high levels of integration for both active and passive designs. Because Multi-Mix(R) amplifier designs provide short, efficient thermal paths for active devices, even high-power-density devices such as the Nitronex GaN transistor die, they can be made extremely compact without hot spots that can compromise reliability and amplifier operating lifetime. Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology is suitable for any high-power RF transistor technology currently used in commercial and military applications, including gallium arsenide (GaAs), silicon LDMOS, silicon carbide (SiC), and GaN.

Merrimac and Nitronex have agreed to consider the joint development of a roadmap for next-generation amplifier designs based on Merrimac's Multi-Mix(R) amplifier platform and Nitronex' high-performance GaN transistor technology. The roadmap will include the development of prototype units to be used to demonstrate the capabilities of the Multi-Mix(R) GaN amplifiers for different frequency bands and applications.

According to Nitronex VP Sales and Marketing Chris Rauh , "We think the combination of the Multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology from Merrimac and Nitronex GaN on Silicon devices is a real winner for our customers in many markets."

Merrimac Chairman and CEO Mason N. Carter commented, "Merrimac is eager to work with Nitronex on the development of high-power Multi-Mix(R) amplifiers. By combining the high power density of their GaN transistors with the excellent thermal properties of multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology, we are confident that we will develop new benchmarks in terms of the RF amplifier power/size ratio, reliability, and value for our customers."

About Nitronex

Specializing in the development and manufacturing of gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF power devices, Nitronex is the global leader in high-performance GaN-on-Si RF power devices. Based on its patented SIGANTIC(R) process -- gallium nitride on silicon technology -- Nitronex is at the forefront of commercializing GaN technology for RF applications. The company's ability to combine the disciplines of material growth, wafer processing, device design and wireless applications knowledge is unique to the industry. Nitronex was founded in 1999 by graduates of the wide bandgap program at North Carolina State University and is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. It holds 19 patents with 19 others pending.

About Merrimac

Merrimac Industries, Inc. is a leader in the design and manufacture of RF Microwave signal processing components, subsystem assemblies, and Multi-Mix(R) micro-multifunction modules (MMFM(R)), for the worldwide Defense, Satellite Communications (Satcom), Commercial Wireless and Homeland Security market segments. Merrimac is focused on providing Total Integrated Packaging Solutions(R) with Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology, a leading edge competency providing value to our customers through miniaturization and integration. Multi-Mix(R) MMFM(R) provides a patented and novel packaging technology that employs a platform modular architecture strategy that incorporates embedded semiconductor devices, MMICs, resistors, passive circuit elements and plated- through via holes to form a three-dimensional integrated module used in High Power, High Frequency and High Performance mission-critical applications. Merrimac Industries facilities are registered under ISO 9001:2000, an internationally developed set of quality criteria for manufacturing operations.

Merrimac Industries, Inc. has facilities located in West Caldwell, NJ and San Jose , Costa Rica and has approximately 180 co-workers dedicated to the design and manufacture of signal processing components, gold plating of high- frequency microstrip and bonded stripline Teflon (PTFE) circuits and subsystems providing Total Integrated Packaging Solutions(R) for wireless applications. Merrimac (MRM) is listed on the American Stock Exchange. Multi- Mix(R), Multi-Mix PICO(R), MMFM(R), System In A Package(R), SIP(R) and Total Integrated Packaging Solutions(R) are registered trademarks of Merrimac Industries, Inc. For more information about Merrimac Industries, Inc. please visit our website .

This press release contains statements relating to future results of the Company (including certain projections and business trends) that are "forward- looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: risks associated with demand for and market acceptance of existing and newly developed products as to which the Company has made significant investments, particularly its Multi-Mix(R) products; the possibilities of impairment charges to the carrying value of our Multi-Mix(R) assets, thereby resulting in charges to our earnings; risks associated with adequate capacity to obtain raw materials and reduced control over delivery schedules and costs due to reliance on sole source or limited suppliers; slower than anticipated penetration into the satellite communications, defense and wireless markets; failure of our Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM customers to successfully incorporate our products into their systems; changes in product mix resulting in unexpected engineering and research and development costs; delays and increased costs in product development, engineering and production; reliance on a small number of significant customers; the emergence of new or stronger competitors as a result of consolidation movements in the market; the timing and market acceptance of our or our OEM customers' new or enhanced products; general economic and industry conditions; the ability to protect proprietary information and technology; competitive products and pricing pressures; our ability and the ability of our OEM customers to keep pace with the rapid technological changes and short product life cycles in our industry and gain market acceptance for new products and technologies; risks relating to governmental regulatory actions in communications and defense programs; and inventory risks due to technological innovation and product obsolescence, as well as other risks and uncertainties as are detailed from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact: Mason N. Carter, Chairman & CEO

SOURCE Merrimac Industries, Inc.