of Spread Spectrum Development Tools and Test
Instruments began life in the usual way --
in a small Silicon Valley garage back in the
1980s. The year was 1987, and awareness of spread
spectrum technology was just beginning to grow.
As a means of fostering research and innovation,
the Federal Communications Commission was
preparing to make certain Part 15 ISM (Industrial
Scientific, & Measurement) radio bands
available to the public, thus making license-free
spread spectrum communications possible. The
military and reconnaissance industries were no
longer to be the sole users of this relatively
Young and the Restless (Engineers)
Two young and
ambitious engineers, Sanford Larsen and Larry
Christensen, had become restless in their jobs,
and took the bold leap into the risky business of
hi-tech startups. The two had been classmates
since high school, and had both graduated with
honors from Brigham Young University with Masters
of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering.
(Or, as the locals call the institution,
"Bring 'em Young University.") Sanford
had specialized in digital signal processing
(DSP) and communications theory, Larry in
cryptography. Larry had furthered his education
at UC Berkeley, where he received his Master of
Business Administration degree.
entrepreneurs put their heads together, and
decided it would be best to focus on a product
with which they had prior experience, yet one
with no competition in the current market.
Sanford had worked for a signal intelligence
"think tank" in Santa Clara, Signal
Science Inc., where he received considerable
experience with spread spectrum, as both a
counter-intelligence and a reconnaissance
measure. That, along with his prior experience in
logic design, made it an easy decision as to what
product line the two would first develop --
spread spectrum generators. And with Larry's
experience on the business side at Rolm
corporation, in Sunnyvale, the two set out on
their new-found journey as entrepreneurs. And
thus came about New Wave Instruments.
Startup is Born
Larry originally ran their new business out of
the dining room of Sanford's small home, where
they immediately began taking orders for their
new product. Their first customers included
defense-industry giants Lockheed and Boeing
Aerospace, and government agencies National
Security Agency (NSA) and Wright Patterson Air
Force Base. Not long afterward they began
exporting to numerous countries abroad, primarily
to Canada, India, and Japan.
The company was
growing, but neither Larry nor Sanford was
interested in setting roots in bustling Silicon
Valley. In the early 1990s they relocated the
business to their hometown of Provo, Utah. At the
time, with the recent fall of the Soviet Union,
and subsequent decreases in US defense spending,
the domestic market for spread spectrum
generators began to shrink. It was at this time
that Larry and Sanford joined forces with former
schoolmate and head of the Utah Valley Regional
Medical Center's Radiology Department, Dr.
Wendell Gibby. Together they cofounded Magnetic
Research Inc. (later bought by NovaRad
develops and sells magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) peripherals, including teleradiology
equipment and surface coils.
at the New Wave ranch, domestic sales were
picking up as the telecom giants started
developing second-generation (2G) digital cell
phones. Several of these companies, including
NYNEX and Southwestern Bell, were ordering
generators like they were going out of style.
This made those of us at New Wave Instruments
realize the sense of urgency and competition that
was brewing in the personal communications
services (PCS) market. The cell phone boom of the
late 1990s proved a testament to this fact, as
has the subsequent development and deployment of
third generation (3G) cellular technology.
for further development and application of spread
spectrum technology is evident. The FCC has
approved additional radio bands at the higher
microwave frequencies for spread spectrum use.
Wideband CDMA is the latest industry buzzword.
Telecom companies are deeply involved in
development of 3G and 4G cell phones and personal
digital assistants (PDAs). Lowering costs of
spread spectrum chip sets are making it possible
to use spread spectrum in cost-sensitive
commercial applications. And wireless LANs using
spread spectrum are becoming accepted players in
"the last mile" applications.
Even after more
than a decade, life is just beginning for spread
spectrum. And we at New Wave Instruments are
proud to know we have been a major contributor.
We remain committed to maintaining and building
upon the high standing we enjoy among our
colleagues and customers.
regulations set forth by the Small Business
Administration (SBA), New Wave Instruments
qualifies as a Small Business Concern (SBC), and
is therefore eligible for small business
Instruments manufactures equipment that falls
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