RFMD® Introduces World's First 6-Inch GaN-On-SiC Wafers For RF Power Transistors
Company Converting All Gallium Nitride (GaN) Processes to High-Volume 6-Inch Wafer Fabrication to Reduce Platform Cost, Address Growth Opportunities
Greensboro, NC (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RFMD (Nasdaq: RFMD), a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency solutions, today introduced the world's first 6-inch GaN-on-Silicon Carbide (SiC) wafers for manufacturing RF power transistors for both military and commercial use. The company is converting all GaN production and development to 6-inch diameter wafers using its existing high-volume, 6-inch GaAs foundry to reduce platform cost for the growing GaN device market.
"We are pleased to introduce the industry's first 6-inch GaN-on-SiC RF technology on RFMD's existing high- volume 6-inch GaAs manufacturing line," said Bob Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD. "This merging of production of GaN and GaAs is part of our 'GaN-in-GaAs Fab' strategy to repurpose existing fab capacity to better address growth opportunities from innovative new GaN-based products."
According to industry analyst firm Strategy Analytics, the GaN microelectronics market is expected to more than triple to $334 million by 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%. This market growth is led by growth in both military (radar, electronic warfare, communications) and commercial (power management, cellular, CATV, land mobile radios) applications.
"By leveraging our technology leadership and high-volume expertise in 6-inch GaAs production, RFMD will now be able to add 6-inch GaN capabilities to deliver new RF Power products that we expect will accelerate revenue growth in our communications, CATV, power conversion, radar, jamming, aerospace and open foundry businesses," said Dr. Jeff Shealy, vice-president of RFMD Power Broadband.
GaN technology supports broad frequency bandwidths and high breakdown voltages in a small area. A 6-inch GaN wafer offers 2.5-times more useable area over competing 4-inch GaN wafer platforms currently available, resulting in 2.5 times more RF power devices per wafer. Larger area-per-wafer and subsequent lower cost per unit area (in dollars per square millimeter) is key to enabling affordable, high performance power monolithic microwave ICs (MMICs) for military and commercial applications. RFMD expects to complete qualification of its 6-inch GaN platforms in 2014.
RFMD (Nasdaq: RFMD) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency solutions. RFMD's products enable worldwide mobility, provide enhanced connectivity and support advanced functionality in the mobile device, wireless infrastructure, wireless local area network (WLAN or Wi-Fi), cable television (CATV)/broadband, Smart Energy/advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and aerospace and defense markets. RFMD is recognized for its diverse portfolio of semiconductor technologies and RF systems expertise and is a preferred supplier to the world's leading mobile device, customer premises and communications equipment providers. RFMD is an ISO 9001-, ISO 14001-, and ISO/TS 16949-certified manufacturer with worldwide engineering, design, sales and service facilities. For more information, please visit RFMD's web site at rfmd.com.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, representations and contentions and are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as "may," "will," "should," "could," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. You should be aware that the forward-looking statements included herein represent management's current judgment and expectations, but our actual results, events and performance could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. We do not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements or publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements, other than as is required under the federal securities laws. RF Micro Devices' business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including variability in operating results, the inability of certain of our customers or suppliers to access their traditional sources of credit, our industry's rapidly changing technology, our dependence on a few large customers for a substantial portion of our revenue, our ability to implement innovative technologies, our ability to bring new products to market and achieve design wins, the efficient and successful operation of our wafer fabrication facilities, assembly facilities and test and tape and reel facilities, our ability to adjust production capacity in a timely fashion in response to changes in demand for our products, variability in manufacturing yields, industry overcapacity and current macroeconomic conditions, inaccurate product forecasts and corresponding inventory and manufacturing costs, dependence on third parties and our ability to manage channel partners and customer relationships, our dependence on international sales and operations, our ability to attract and retain skilled personnel and develop leaders, the possibility that future acquisitions may dilute our shareholders' ownership and cause us to incur debt and assume contingent liabilities, fluctuations in the price of our common stock, additional claims of infringement on our intellectual property portfolio, lawsuits and claims relating to our products, security breaches and other similar disruptions compromising our information and exposing us to liability and the impact of stringent environmental regulations. These and other risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in RF Micro Devices' most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports and statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any of these forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE: RF Micro Devices