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TriQuint closes on Skyworks and RFMD

The GaAs chip maker expects to continue the rate of growth that saw it gain a sales record in 2007, and has contingency plans in place for expanding its Oregon fab.

A strong fourth quarter of 2007 saw TriQuint post revenues of $128.5 million, up over 12 percent from the same quarter in the previous year, indicating market share gains from its competitors.

“If you look at our two major competitors, we just did much better,” said Ralph Quinsey, TriQuint s CEO. “We did okay in [market] share in 2007, and the fourth quarter was our strongest quarter of the year.”

Overall for 2007, TriQuint made $23.4 million in profit, compared with $21.4 million for 2006. The company s annual sales grew 18 percent to hit $475.8 million.

Of the two companies that record greater sales than TriQuint, RF Micro Devices most recent quarter saw revenues drop below the same period in the previous year. Skyworks Solutions fiscal 2007 also saw lower total sales than in 2006, although this was partly related to its exit from the baseband product area.

TriQuint expects it will see the same rate of growth in 2008, raising sales above $540 million.

“Revenue will be driven by strong wireless LAN opportunities in our network business and share growth in our handset business,” explained Steve Buhaly, TriQuint's chief financial officer.

In the most recent quarter, the company s sales from wireless LAN revenue were up 143 percent over the same period in 2006. TriQuint has just begun shipping high-value Wi-Fi front-end modules to a major chip manufacturer, in a deal that will continue to ramp-up throughout 2008.

For the first quarter of 2008, the company expects its sales to drop back below $115 million. This is in part due to regular seasonal variations, however, Quinsey also conceded that TriQuint could temporarily relinquish some market share over this period.

This will see levels of utilization at the company s high-volume Hillsboro, Oregon, fab drop back from the 85 percent level it struck at the end of 2007 towards 70 percent.

However, to reach the company's overall sales target for 2008 it will have to increase revenues by 10 to 15 percent for each quarter after the first. In light of these ambitious plans, TriQuint said that it could economically expand capacity in Oregon by 20 percent if needed, as well as having spare capacity at its lower-volume Richardson, Texas, fab.

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