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In Brief: Emcore, Mitsubishi, Cascade And RFMD

Worries over Emcore's share of a solar energy contract are dismissed, Mitsubishi begins sampling a new WiMAX amplifier, Cascade licenses Bell Labs' quantum cascade laser technology, and RF Micro Devices ranks seventh in a new list of the world's largest RF and baseband semiconductor suppliers.

Photovoltaic plant to use fewer Emcore chips
Xcel Energy, a major US power utility, has revealed plans for an 8 MW photovoltaic plant to be built in south central Colorado.

The plant, which will be one of the biggest solar farms in the US, will generate 1.2 MW using concentrator cells based on III-V materials, with the remaining 6.8 MW set to be provided by conventional flat-panel solar systems.

Previously, it had been expected that the whole plant would feature concentrator systems based around Emcore's III-V solar cells, and shares in Emcore dropped some 15 percent in value as a result.

Despite the apparent setback, Emcore is still expected to win up to half of the $40 million contract on offer. "Many more contracts are in the pipeline," said Jefferies analyst John Lau. "Emcore should be a major supplier in this emerging terrestrial market."

Mitsubishi plans amp ramp
Mitsubishi Electric, the leading Japanese maker of GaAs components, has completed its development of a new InGaP HBT amplifier for WiMAX applications.

Said to be the smallest of their kind in the industry, the devices operate at 2.5-2.7 GHz. Production runs for sampling will begin at 10,000 units per month on December 15.

Mitsubishi says that it is now working to develop 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz amplifiers.

Cascade Technologies licenses cascade technology
UK-based Cascade Technologies, which specializes in laser systems for chemical analysis, has signed a licensing deal with Lucent Technologies.

The quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) that feature at the heart of Cascade's systems were initially developed at Bell Laboratories, Lucent's research and development wing.

"The agreement with Lucent will enable Cascade to source its lasers from manufacturers anywhere throughout the world," said the firm in a statement.

RFMD jumps up the chip leaderboard
Semiconductor market researcher Gartner has placed RF Micro Devices seventh in its list of the world's largest suppliers of RF and baseband application-specific devices.

Last year, RFMD ranked ninth on the list, which is based on global revenue figures.

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