TriQuint completes WJ buy-out
Californian RF device firm WJ Communications is now formally a part of TriQuint Semiconductor, as consolidation in the GaAs industry continues to reduce the number of companies vying for slots in wireless communications products.
The deal, valued at $72 million, sees 132 WJ staff join TriQuint after the latter introduced new stock options as an inducement for WJ s employees to switch to the Hillsboro, Oregon, company. Fewer than ten people in WJ s workforce failed to join TriQuint, indicating the good compatibility of the two companies.
The acquisition adds significantly to the set of RF devices that TriQuint is able to supply for wireless applications.
Already strong in high-power amplifier, low-noise amplifier and surface and bulk acoustic wave (SAW and BAW) filter components, the WJ acquisition adds greater expertise in mixer, variable amplifier, and relatively low-power amplifier technologies.
Commenting on the completion of the deal in a prepared statement, TriQuint s VP of networks Brian Balut said:, "WJ s gain block portfolio complements our base station line-up with very little overlap."
"For example, there are three functionally related areas in a base station RF amplifier circuit comprised of pre-driver, driver and output stages. WJ s lower-power, high-voltage HBT products are well suited as pre-drivers and drivers, while our high-power devices serve the driver and output stages."
WJ has also enjoyed initial success in the emerging Chinese market for third-generation wireless communications, which is based on the local TD-SCDMA protocol.
Balut adds that he is expecting sales to grow as China joins the US and Europe in building and upgrading mobile networks to the latest broadband standards.
WJ, which had become a fabless operation relatively recently, was working with the Californian foundry Global Communication Semiconductors (GCS) prior to the TriQuint deal.
And although TriQuint operates two GaAs fabs of its own, these are currently running near to ideal capacity, so GCS will continue to manufacture the former WJ products for the foreseeable future.
As part of a move to increase wafer manufacturing options, TriQuint is now planning to upgrade its Richardson, Texas, fab so that it can handle both 4-inch and 6-inch GaAs production - provided that market conditions remain favorable.
TriQuint is set to reveal more details about the portfolio of technologies that it has acquired via WJ, as well as new wide-bandgap transistor products based on GaN semiconductor material, and the potential offered by its previous acquisition of Peak Devices (see related story) at the forthcoming MTT-S exhibition (see related link).
The IEEE-hosted event is scheduled to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 15-20.