Interview with Walter Magiera from Filtronic

  • Walter Magiera - Chief Commercial Officer at Filtronic

everything RF recently interviewed Walter Magiera who is the Chief Commercial Officer at Filtronic. Walter has been the head of Filtronic’s commercial function for four years. His primary responsibility is to lead the growth of the organization and to develop effective go-to-market sales, channel development, and marketing strategies. With over 20 years of experience as an executive, he has successfully led sales and marketing functions for various global players within the wireless industry.

Q. Can you give us a brief history of Filtronic? When was the company started? What was the objective?

Walter MagieraIn 1977, Professor David Rhodes from Leeds University founded a company in his garage and bedroom with the intention of working on components for the Tornado Aircraft. The company quickly became known for its innovation, technical knowledge, and quality work. Professor Rhodes believed it was better to manufacture filter design software rather than just write it, and in 1979, he hired the first employees. For a decade, the company focused solely on electronic warfare and grew rapidly through acquisitions and by entering new international markets, including the United States.

In 1994, Filtronic Comtek plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange. The business was renamed Filtronic plc after acquiring Filtronic Components Limited and Filtronic Cable Communications Limited in March 1998.

From 2000 to 2010, the company experienced rapid growth through acquisitions. Since 2010, Filtronic has invested heavily in new product development, expanding its product portfolio, specifically mmWave products. Today, Filtronic is an award-winning company that specializes in designing and manufacturing high-performance bespoke RF, Microwave, and mmWave solutions.

Q. Can you tell us about your product portfolio? Which product segment is the largest for you?

Walter MagieraFiltronic specializes in the development and production of high-performance RF, microwave, and mmWave technologies that transmit, receive, and condition radio signals. Our customized solutions are utilized by multiple OEMs in the markets we serve. Our areas of expertise include high-frequency transmission and reception, microwave and mmWave filters, power amplifiers, and a variety of unique microwave and mmWave subsystems.

Q. What market segments do you target, and which segment drives the most business for you?

Walter MagieraFiltronic's products are essential for challenging RF and microwave applications, such as telecommunications infrastructure, aerospace & defense, space, test and measurement, and critical communications.

Q. Filtronic has developed a range of products for E-Band applications. What made you decide to focus on the E-Band? What applications do these products cater to?

Walter MagieraA few years ago, Filtronic decided to shift its focus from the European telecommunications market to global standards. This meant upgrading the technical know-how of our team and advancing our designs to accommodate the technology growth from microwave to mmWave frequencies. We anticipated the growth of E-band and began developing the building blocks for our transceiver development range from 2009 onwards. Our E-band portfolio is aimed at the telecommunications infrastructure and space markets.

Q. Can you tell us more about the E-Band high-power amplifiers you have developed? What are their applications?

Walter MagieraOur Cerus Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPAs) are high-performance and perfect for use in non-terrestrial applications and challenging the use of traditional Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs). The SSPAs have been widely applied in markets such as High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellites, Low Earth Orbit Satellites, and other adjacent markets that require low latency, high-performance private networks. Our SSPAs offer a range of powerful benefits to our customers with regard to Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWAP-C).

Q. Can you tell us more about the filter products that you manufacture? Are there any key filter topologies/technologies that you most often work with? For what applications do you develop filters?

Walter MagieraFiltronic has a rich history in the design and development of RF filters. Our engineering teams include industry-leading filter experts, specializing in a variety of topologies and technologies. Our main focus is on customizing our range to meet the specific needs of each customer and application. Our core competencies are generally geared towards challenging markets such as Defense  Aerospace, Telecommunications, Critical Communications, and more recently, some adjacent markets such as Quantum Computing.

Q. Can you tell us more about the custom products you develop? Is there a particular market segment for which you develop custom products?

Walter MagieraWe design and manufacture high-performance RF components and sub-systems across the RF, Microwave, and mmWave spectrum. As well as a range of COTS products we also develop customized solutions for our customers, with specific capabilities in high-frequency Transceivers, Solid State Power Amplifiers, and Filters. Customers work with Filtronic to aid them in accelerating their market entry, reduce whole-life & development costs, minimize the cost of quality, and provide them with a competitive advantage.

Q. Who are some of your customers and where are they located? Can you give us a percentage of geographical breakup by continent?

Walter MagieraWe are an SME based in the Northeast of England that takes pride in our ability to attract and retain high-profile customers. Our export sales always account for more than half of our total revenues. We have had successful contract engagements for two of the five technology giants (FAANG) and are currently in discussions with another. In the Telecoms market, we have worked with three of the four major network OEMs, and in the Defence market, we have an impressive list of top-tier clients. Recently, we scored wins in the Space market; attracting the attention of key players within the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) segment.

Q. Can you tell us more about the RF Design Services that you offer?

Walter MagieraAt Filtronic, we are equally comfortable manufacturing to a customer’s design, as we are designing and manufacturing our high-performance products. Alternatively, we appreciate working with our clients in a collaborative way, fusing their core competencies with ours to optimize their designs. Our hybrid contract microelectronics manufacturing services enable customers to realize their own designs using Filtronic’s state-of-the-art facilities. This enables cost-effective manufacture and year-on-year cost reduction for customers requiring complex and high-mix products.

Q. What is Filtronic’s product roadmap for the next 3 years?

Walter MagieraWe have an aggressive product roadmap that targets the unrelenting demand for 5G performance across multiple sectors. With strong growth predicted within E-band, Future telecom networks will leverage/integrate High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) and LEO satellites with terrestrial networks. E‐band is a logical frequency to enable this convergence, and there is going to be more requirement for other mmWave frequency bands that play to Filtronic’s core strength. To that end, we are developing a range of products within the next tranche of newly adopted frequencies, including Q/V/D & W bands. Our strategy is to always remain at the leading edge of high-frequency RF communications.

About Filtronic

Filtronic develops RF solutions for mission-critical environments.The firm partners with clients by offering design, manufacture and test of high-performance RF devices & sub-systems. Specialties include developing, power-amplifiers, transceivers, MCPs, SIPs, MMICs and filters operating from DC to over 100 GHz. Leveraging decades of experience with communications devices, networks and GaAs and GaN (III-V) technologies; the company prides itself on applying its’ “know-how” integrating components where high-power and high-frequencies are inherent to the application.