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RF Micro switches on GaAs PHEMT capability

The GaAs component maker introduces two high-power switches made with its PHEMT process.

RF Micro Devices has launched two new types of switch for use in cell-phones, cellular infrastructure, and wireless LAN applications.

Last year the Greensboro, NC, firm invested heavily in GaAs chip manufacturing capacity for PHEMT fabrication (see related story). The move is expected to result in extra revenue from the new line of switch products, as well as help to improve profit margins within its own cell-phone transmit modules.

The new RF1200 is a single-pole double-throw switch that is designed for wideband-CDMA applications. It is manufactured with a 0.5 µm PHEMT process.

The second new product, RF1450, is a single-pole four-throw switch, and addresses the needs of multimode wideband-CDMA.

RFMD's CEO, Bob Bruggeworth, said at the recent Needham Growth Conference held in New York that the increased internal production of GaAs PHEMT switches was one of the key factors behind the firm s improving profitability.

Bruggeworth added that the cellular handset market "“ by far the most important for RFMD "“ was still strong, and that market share continues to move towards the sector s top-tier players: Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.

Apple s launch of the iPhone may have some impact on those market shares, but the iconic electronics company will have a much tougher task penetrating the cell-phone business than it did with its iPod MP3 music players.

When Apple launched the iPod in 2001, the market for electronic music players had yet to be established "“ unlike today's very mature, consolidating market for cell-phones.

RFMD has also revealed that its new RF3159 linear EDGE power amplifier is supporting Samsung s SGH-D900 "Black Carbon" mobile phone "“ said to be the thinnest slider phone in the world.

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