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In brief: Seoul Semiconductor, Freescale, RFMD

Korea-based Seoul Semiconductor launches LED products that can be connected directly to AC-based mains power; Freescale's shareholders approve the chip giant's private equity buy-out; and RF Micro Devices samples more GaN-based power amplifiers.

Seoul claims AC-LED breakthrough
Seoul Semiconductor, the Korean company that specializes in LED products, says that it is now in a position to mass-produce solid-state lamps that can plug directly into 110 V or 220 V electrical sockets.

Launching the "Acriche" AC-LEDs at the electronica show in Munich, Germany, Seoul CEO Lee Jung-Hoon said, "LED applications are no longer limited to cell phones, computers or cars, but can expand to general lighting applications as well."

Conventional LEDs are only compatible with DC power, but thanks to a new patented chip packaging process developed by its subsidiary Seoul Optodevice, the parent company says that the need for a DC converter has been eliminated.

The firm expects to sell KRW 20 billion ($20 million) worth of Acriche products next year, rising rapidly to KRW 300 billion ($300 million) in 2009.

Shareholders OK Freescale sell
Shareholders in semiconductor manufacturing giant Freescale have approved the sale of the company to a private equity consortium.

The Blackstone Group, which is leading the proposed buy-out along with The Carlyle Group, Permira Funds and Texas Pacific Group, has offered stockholders $40 per share on closure of the deal.

Those voting in favor of the buy-out represented around 73 per cent of the total number of eligible shares. The transaction remains subject to other closing conditions but is now expected to be completed by the end of this year.

RFMD samples more GaN
Best known for its GaAs-based power amplifiers (PAs), RF Micro Devices has released a family of GaN-on-SiC products for WiMAX, cellular infrastructure and Public Mobile Radio applications.

The Greensboro, NC, firm, which faces competition in the emerging sector from local rivals Nitronex and Cree, as well as a number of Japanese firms (see related stories), recently converted part of its 4 inch GaAs wafer fab into a line suited for GaN device production on 3 inch SiC wafers.

According to RFMD, production shipments of the RF3820, 3821, 3822 and 3823 PAs will begin some time next year.

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