Test and Measurement: Rohde & Schwarz picks up quantum compute company

Rohde & Schwarz is looking ahead to the role that quantum computing will play in future technologies, and acquired Zurich Instruments AG as of July 1 to position its test solutions for a quantum-computing world.

Zurich Instruments provides advanced test and measurement systems for scientific and industrial research, including “a strong network and extensive experience in academic physics research,” R&S said; the company is a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), founded in 2008. It is headquartered in Zurich, where it has around 100 employees, and has regional offices in the U.S., China, France, South Korea, Japan and Italy. Rohde plans to run the company as an independent subsidiary; financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is the second recent quantum computing acquisition by a test and measurement company; Keysight Technologies acquired Quantum Benchmark in May of this year.

Rohde & Schwarz said in a release that it is already actively involved in quantum sensing, and that it expects quantum technologies to “significantly shape the high-tech industry” in the coming decades. “The potential for industry and research is enormous. It is a future trend involving billions in governmental subsidies and industrial investment.” In order to operate and maintain a large-scale quantum computer, the company added, you need multiple, highly specific test and measurement solutions — which it says that the R&S and Zurich Instruments will be able to provide holistic solutions for.

“We are looking forward to developing technological solutions for the future together with Zurich Instruments. We are also strengthening our position in the scientific realm,” said Peter Riedel, President and COO of Rohde & Schwarz.

Dr. Sadik Hafizovic, co-founder and CEO of Zurich Instruments, said that R&S will provide Zurich with “access to the latest and best technologies. The size, stability and technological expertise of Rohde & Schwarz offer optimal conditions for us to remain a leader in the rapidly growing quantum computing market and continue to grow as an independent subsidiary.”

In other test news:

EXFO, which is in the midst of considering a go-private offer from company founder and Chairman Germaine Lamonde, has just reported that it will hold a special, virtual shareholder meeting on August 13 to decide whether to remain a public company or to go private. The company has filed accompanying documents on the proposed transaction, ahead of the meeting.

EXFO reported quarterly results this week as well, with sales up 9.8% year-over-year but a net loss of $3.7 million, compared to a profit of $3.2 million during the same period last year. EXFO’s CEO Philippe Morin said in a statement that the company’s sales and earnings were “consistent with expectations, while strong bookings were mainly driven by a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and a good performance in EMEA.”

EXFO’s test and measurement sales were up nearly 14% from the same period last year, driven by fiber investments in the Americans and EMEA and a bounceback from impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, EXFO’s Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) sales dropped 9.6% compared to the same quarter of 2020. Regionally, EXFO saw overall sales grow by 18.4% in the Americas and 20.6% in EMEA, while sales dropped 23.8% in the Asia-Pacific region.

-In other news from Rohde & Schwarz this week, the company said that PCTest Engineering Laboratory, which is now part of the Element Materials Technology Group, is offering 5G Voice over New Radio (VoNR) testing via the R&S CMX500 5G radio communication tester.

-The most recent testing and and data analysis on network performance is out from Rootmetrics, OpenSignal and Ookla. Full stories here, here and here in case you missed them.

Keysight Technologies’ Open RAN test solutions are now available on AWS Outposts. Keysight Open RAN Architect, or KORA, consists of multiple simulators that work in unison to enable a development, integration and deployment testing environment for end-to-end Open RAN infrastructure, the test company said.

In other recent news from Keysight, the company’s PathWave Advanced Design System and Electromagnetic Design software are being used by Menlo Micro for development of high-performance microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches, and test house Dekra picked Keysight equipment to expand its compliance testing capabilities for 5G New Radio, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 devices.

Anritsu and Samsung are working together on validating 3GPP Rel. 16 5G New Radio features on Samsung’s latest 5G Exynos modem, using Anritsu’s Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A. Anritus said that the two companies are working on integration and testing of multiple Rel. 16 power-saving features to extend battery life, as well as features such as Conditional Handover (CHO), Overheating Assistance Information, MDT (Minimization of Drive Test) and SON (Self Organizing Network).

Fairview Microwave has a series of new waveguide horn antennas that are made in the U.S. and compliant with the federal Trade Agreements Act. The standard-gain antennas have 10, 15 or 20 dBi gain options at frequencies ranging from 1.7 GHz to 40 GHz, and also come in bands including L, C, Ku, Ka and more with various connector options.

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