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NEENAH, WI – Industry reports indicate that contract electronics maker Plexus Corporation said that its board has approved a financial recapitalization, in which it will borrow $150 million to buy back up to $200 million of its common shares.

"Over the last several months we have conducted a comprehensive review of our capital structure, and believe that a moderate amount of debt at the current favorable interest rates strikes the right balance for Plexus," said CFO Ginger Jones in a statement.

The company will pay $100 million to Morgan Stanley to buy back approximately 2.2 million shares, with expectation of buying back another $100 million shares on the open market by the end of 2008.

Plexus reported that it will fund the share repurchase with existing cash and a new long-term debt of $150 million, saying that the recapitalization will add to 2008 earnings per share.
WESTFORD, MA – Zuken’s CADSTAR Express 9, a limited downloadable version of the company’s PCB design tool CADSTAR, has been awarded second place in the “Best Product 2007 - Design Tools and Software Category," listed in E&E Best Product Guide for 2007.

The award will be presented on February 26 during the Embedded World 2008 Exhibition and Conference in Nürnberg, Germany.

“Zuken is proud to receive this recognition. We welcome all PCB engineers and designers to try CADSTAR,” said Jeroen Leinders, company distribution manager.
YAVNE, ISRAEL – Magnetti Marelli has selected Valor Computerized Systems' vManage software (used for assembly traceability and feeder verification) for installations into manufacturing sites in Italy, Spain and Mexico.

vManage will reportedly enable Magnetti Marelli, an automotive electronics systems provider, to achieve traceability and visibility of materials and manufacturing processes on their Panasonic, Fuji and Hitachi PCB SMT platforms. vManage will also help Magnetti Marelli to eliminate feeder errors by incorporating the software’s feeder verification functionality.

According to Valor, vManage provides shop floor control and material management by collecting accurate real-time machine performance data from equipment vendors, allowing visibility and control over the manufacturing operation from SMT lines to final assembly.

“We are very happy to have extended our shop-floor management installations at Magnetti Marelli,” said Julian Coates, VP of Valor. “vManage not only enables electronics manufacturers to remain competitive, but also to comply with special requirements set in the automotive industry.”

MARLBOROUGH, MA, - Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials has entered into a joint development agreement with IBM to create patterning materials and processes to enable implant at and below the 32 nm node.

The agreement is a joint collaboration to develop implant solutions for advanced technology nodes. Ion implantation is a set of process steps used to fabricate transistors. The implant process selectively introduces electrical charges into extremely small areas that have been defined by preceding lithographic steps.

At 32 nm and below, implant lithography has become a critical step in transistor creation, but constitutes a major technology hurdle. As semiconductor designs shrink, new challenges emerge in controlling implants used in transistor formation.

“Finding the right solutions to difficult technical challenges depends not only on strong engineering and design, but also on close collaboration with leaders in the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. James Fahey, president of Microelectronic Technologies for Rohm and Haas. “Partnering with IBM will accelerate the development of new materials and ensure that we are on track to meet the needs for 32 and 22 nm nodes.”

“We are proud to be working with Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, combining IBM’s continued development of lithography solutions with Rohm and Haas’s material expertise,” said George Gomba, Director of Total Patterning Solutions for IBM Microelectronics.

Work on the joint collaboration will take place at IBM’s East Fishkill, Yorktown and Albany facilities and at Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials’ Advanced Technology Center in Marlborough, MA.
VANVCOUVER – Design software vendor Capilano Computing and PCB supplier Pad2Pad.com are jointly offering free packages for schematic capture and trace layout.

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