The Berkeley Nucleonics story

Berkeley Nucleonics Corporation (BNC) is a leading manufacturer of precision electronic instrumentation for test, measurement, and nuclear research. Our corporate headquarters are in San Rafael, California, with additional manufacturing facilities and sales offices located throughout the United States.

We maintain an international network of manufacturer's representatives—including Optilas, Canberra Packard, ORTEC, Coherent, and Seiko—to provide for precision instrumentation needs globally.

Founded in 1963 , BNC initially developed custom pulse generators. We became known for meeting the most stringent requirements for high precision and stability, and for producing instruments of unsurpassed reliability and performance.

We continue to maintain a leadership position as a developer of custom pulse, signal, light, and function generators. Our designs incorporate the latest innovations in software and hardware engineering, surface mount production, and automated testing procedures. Our Model 625A function generator has been the recipient of several electronics industry awards, including the Cahners Electronics Group's ”T&M Product of the Year” award for 1999.

BNC’s innovative engineering has resulted in a highly regarded line of digital delay generators (DDGs). To date, we have introduced 15 different DDGs with delay resolution as low as 250 femtoseconds. Annual media surveys consistently rank us in the top echelon of producers of DDGs.

In the mid-1990s, BNC created the Nuclear Products Group to develop radiation detection and analysis instrumentation. In 1997, we introduced the SAM 935 Surveillance and Measurement system, the first real-time analysis tool for identification and quantification of multiple radionuclides. Our nuclear spectroscopy products now serve a broad cross-section of industries involved in environmental monitoring, health physics, emergency response, and power generation. We offer an accredited program of training seminars in radiation detection, surveillance, and measurement at locations across the U.S. and online, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of principles and techniques for isotope identification and analysis. We were proud to co-sponsor a training seminar on radiological detection for emergency response and anti-terrorism with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in fall 2002.

When the technical community faced budget constraints in 2008, BNC responded with a line of low cost test equipment for general research applications. Our sub-$2000 product line offers features needed by the bench test engineer without the costly components found in higher priced products. This line includes a power supply, oscilloscope, arbitrary waveform generator, and universal frequency counter.

BNC was recognized in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Energy (Hanford Site) and the U.S. Department of Defense for our high performance isotope identification technology. Systems were deployed for field measurements both in man-portable and vehicle-based applications. The core technology was also adopted by the Department of Defense after lengthy testing and evaluation in large-scale deployments.

BNC responded to the Fukushima accident in 2011 by sending products, trainers, and technicians to Japan to work with our local partners to develop processes for radiation screening. BNC received recognition from private organizations and governmental agencies in Japan and the U.S. for our contribution to the screening and cleanup processes. Our staff worked cooperatively with Japanese agencies to translate support documentation and radiation safety training materials into Japanese, which helped many non-technical users of personal radiation detectors (PRDs) understand the concepts of radiation detection and background measurements.

Also in 2011, we launched BNC Scientific, a new division to support our customers' complex applications with some of the most advanced products in the industry. BNC Scientific operates as a manufacturer’s representative for market-leading technologies in microwave signal generation, lock-in amplifiers, spectrum analyzers, and high frequency arbitrary waveform generators. This wider range of products coupled with BNC’s many new models has boosted our application support team’s ability to cooperatively develop solutions.

In 2012, BNC began development of it’s own line of RF/Microwave Signal Generators, Signal Analyzers and Spectrum Analysis tools to address industry growth in communications and data requirements. The new division was able to leverage state-of- the art components and virtual front panels to disrupt the industry norms with a mantra to ‘out-perform, out-package and out-price’ legacy manufacturers in this space. BNC’s legacy was built on it’s manufacturing priorities – product reliability and high performance. The new line was no exception and in just 5 years the company has been recognized but end users across a wide range of applications. See new 33GHz test equipment being released in 2017.

BNC is committed to maintaining our tradition of technical excellence. Through aggressive R&D efforts and ongoing strengthening of our support channels, we continue to provide a high level of responsiveness to the rapidly changing technological priorities of our customers.

Microwave Journal's Executive Interview