In addition to acquiring Phase Matrix, Inc., National Instruments (NI) has signed a definitive merger agreement with AWR Corp. With these moves, NIa supplier of PXI modular instrumentation and the popular LabVIEW test software for more than 14 yearsdeepens its investment in RF and microwave instrumentation and software. It also will be able to accelerate the deployment of RF and wireless technologies through modular, reconfigurable, field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA)-based and software-defined architectures.

As a designer and manufacturer of RF and microwave test and measurement technology, Phase Matrix and its advanced frequency-synthesizer technology are expected to speed NI's deployment of RF and wireless technologies to its production-test and R&D customers. The acquisition extends the frequency range of NI's products for RF and microwave applications to 26.5 GHz and beyond.

Phase Matrix will continue to operate under the name "Phase Matrix, Inc." as a wholly owned NI subsidiary. Phase Matrix founders, Pete Pragastis and Charanbir Mahal, will remain with the company as General Manager and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. Phase Matrix will continue to sell directly to customers and OEMs. The purchase price for this transaction was approximately $38 million.

Through the merger with AWR, NI will gain access to an RF-system-design product portfolio that complements its hardware and software. NI's platform for prototyping and testing RF systems is a nice match for AWR's RF circuit and system software design tools. In fact, this deal should strengthen the software brands of both companiesNI's LabVIEW and AWR's Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator (VSS).

By strengthening the integration between AWR's design tools and NI's software and hardware, the firms will provide increased connectivity between design, validation, and production-test functions. Armed with the AWR design tools and an RF testing platform from NI, customers will have a platform that decreases time to market for their RF designs. NI also will augment its academic and university RF and communications initiatives to include AWR software tools.

Upon the closing of the transaction, AWR will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary under the leadership of the existing management team. The aggregate purchase price to be paid at closing is approximately $58 million. The transaction is expected to close within 30 to 45 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.