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.
Robot advances in connectivity, collaboration, and programming; Advanced process control; Industrial wireless developments; Multiplatform system integration
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

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

Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
click me