RFMD expands wafer fabrication 40%


Greensboro, NCRFMD a provider of proprietary, radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, announced an $80-million wafer fabrication facility (Fab) expansion. Expansion of the Greensboro campus, is expected to increase RFMD’s wafer-manufacturing capacity by approximately 40% from current levels—utilizing GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT process technologies. The expansion is also expected to reduce the company’s cost per wafer and provide available capacity to increase internal production of GaAs pHEMT—a critical enabling technology in the company’s transmit modules.

Growing demand for GaAs technology is being fueled by multiple factors, including market share gains and robust demand for mobile devices. According to industry forecasts, over 900 million cellular handsets will ship in 2006, driven by emerging markets and new feature-rich devices. Within these handsets, a growing number will feature RFMD’s power amplifier (PA) and transmit modules, which integrate GaAs pHEMT transmit switch-technology with the company's GaAs HBT power-amplifier technology. Additionally, 3G (or multi-mode) handsets contain multiple transmit chains, requiring multiple PAs. Industry analysts currently forecast 3G handset sales will double—in both 2006 and 2007—to about 200 million units. Finally, in the growing market for WLAN in handsets, there is increased demand for WLAN front-end modules, which feature both GaAs HBT and GaAs pHEMT technologies.

This is the fifth capacity expansion the company has announced in its 15-year history. Company revenue was $150.4 million in first-quarter 2005, when the previous Fab expansion was completed, and increased to $208.0 million in fourth-quarter 2005, less than one year later.

RFMD has begun expanding its wafer -fabrication equipment base in existing clean room facilities, with volume production expected in late 2006. RFMD expects to add 300 new skilled positions at the expanded facility.

And the company was the recipient of a Job Development Incentive Grant from the State of North Carolina that provides up to $4.9 million in tax credits toward the expansion. RFMD also received a collective pledge of nearly $1.5 million from the City of Greensboro and Guilford County.

— Richard Phelps, senior editor, Control Engineering

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me