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In Brief: Nokia, Anadigics And Peregrine

Nokia raises its handset growth forecast for 2006, Anadigics plans capital expenditure after its latest stock offering, and Peregrine Semiconductor opens a new design center.

Nokia raises 2006 phone forecast
Leading GaAs chip consumer Nokia has increased its growth estimate for the mobile handset market this year.

Previously, the Finnish company had predicted a 10% rise from the 795 million handsets it believes were sold in 2005. It now puts that estimate at 15% or greater, which would mean well over 900 million new handsets will be shipped this year.

Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila made the revised prediction at Nokia's annual general meeting in Helsinki, where he added that emerging markets will drive the vast majority of new mobile subscribers in the next few years.

As the world's leading handset manufacturer with a market share of well over 30%, Nokia is the top consumer of GaAs-based transistors that are widely used in cell-phone power amplifiers.

Anadigics raises over $50 million
GaAs manufacturing company Anadigics raised $53.4 million in its recent public offering of over 10 million shares.

Most of that cash will be used to repay outstanding loan notes that are due to mature in November this year, while the remaining $6.7 million will be reserved for general corporate use.

That will include some capital expenditures, said the Warren, NJ, firm, which switched to manufacturing on 6-inch GaAs wafers back in 1999. It has seen a surge in demand recently, largely for new products featuring its advanced BiFET technology.

Peregrine opens New England center
Silicon-on-sapphire RFIC specialist Peregrine Semiconductor has opened its third engineering design center.

The "UltraCMOS" RFICs developed by Peregrine are regarded as a serious threat to GaAs PHEMT technology in power amplifier switches, while Peregrine has long-term ambitions of penetrating the power amplifier market.

The center, in Nashua, New Hampshire, is said to have attracted plenty of engineers from the RF and microwave field. "We expect continuous expansion in New England, and look to this center as a catalyst for growth," said Peregrine CEO Jim Cable.

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