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Anadigics' hybrid amps increase cable rivalry

RF chipmaker reformats its MESFET cable TV infrastructure products to address previously resistant customers, first at 870 MHz and later at 1 GHz

GaAs manufacturer Anadigics has launched a series of “hybrid” line amplifiers for cable TV infrastructure, competing for market share in this area for the first time.

The 870 MHz, 24 V, amplifiers use the industry standard SOT115J hybrid package, in which Anadigics combines its MESFET technology with other discrete components.

For fifteen years the company s Warren, New Jersey, fab has produced individually packaged surface-mount amplifiers that the company says have gained significant traction with top-level cable TV equipment suppliers.

The first products to go beyond this format will now be available in sample volumes in April 2009, and will be production ready in the third quarter.

“The hybrid activity is an incremental business opportunity for us,” explained Glenn Eswein, director of broadband product marketing at Anadigics. “There s a certain percentage of the equipment manufacturers who just don t want to move to surface mount components.”

Eswein points out that the world has undergone an upgrade to 870 MHz cable TV standards in recent years, although North America and Western Europe have gone straight to 1 GHz.

Anadigics has plans to roll out 1 GHz cable amplifiers, but in the meantime the 870 MHz products are targeted at the Asian market.

“We ve been engaged with some equipment manufacturers in China and other parts of Asia,” Eswein explained. “There are some specific performance needs for 870 MHz right now.”

Eswein says that Anadigics currently ships hundreds of thousands of units into the cable TV infrastructure market, at prices around $15-$20. Those volumes remain relatively stable with time, he says, combining with attractive product margins to make it an important market for Anadigics.

Included in the company s latest 870 MHz product family are three power-doubler hybrid line amplifiers, offering 21.5 dB, 25 dB and 28 dB of gain respectively. The family is rounded out with two push-pull hybrid line amplifiers, which offer 21.5 dB or 34 dB of gain.

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