• GE Fanuc Automation has bought a Californian company called Ramix which specialises in embedded computing and memory technologies, and pioneered the concept of embedded Ethernet switching. GE Fanuc, which is combining Ramix with existing activities to form an embedded systems group, says the embedded systems market is worth $9bn. Application areas include automation, energy management and security.
• Agilent Technologies, the Californian motion controls supplier, has acquired exclusive rights to the absolute encoder technology developed by Optolab Microsystems of Erfurt, Germany. It plans to use the technology to develop "the world`s smallest, high-speed absolute encoder" with a resolution of 12—16 bits. These encoders, due later this year, will complement Agilent`s 8- and 16-bit absolute encoders, introduced last year.
• Curtiss-Wright has bought the California-based LVDT (linear variable displacement transducer) specialist, Collins Technologies, for $12m. Collins, which will become part of Curtiss-Wright Controls, manufactures LVDTs mainly for aerospace applications and is expected to generate sales worth $9.5m this year. Curtiss-Wright also owns the Penny & Giles position sensing business in the UK.