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Adjust your Bookmarks - CompoundSemi News has a new format!
Tom Griffiths - Publisher

November 14, 2013...The original CompoundSemi News was introduced in 2000, innovating "content management" long before any types of standard frameworks came into being. As of our November 11, 2013 edition, we have launched an all new framework that moves to a headline-summary style, and which will allow us an even more real-time flow to the news you count on. All of 2013's CS News articles are available and fully searchable on the new site. The entire 13 year library of our leading compound semiconductor industry news coverage remains available through the search function of this site, and you'll find a handy link to that at on the top menu at the new CompoundSemi.com.

Change your bookmarks/favorites to mark CompoundSemi.com as a replacement for any and all of your current CS Online bookmarks. You'll also want to update your RSS feed to compoundsemi.com/feed/ to keep up with all the latest updates. Your CompoundSemi Email News dispatch has also enjoyed a format change, and will continue to arrive at your inbox automatically. If you aren't receiving the email news each Monday, sign up today.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback, or if you encounter what we're sure will be a glitch or two during the continuing changeover tweaks (this still involves computers, after all). You can reach Tom directly by tel or email that you'll find on the contact page.

TriQuint Investor Starboard Says TriQuint’s PA Business Needs to Improve or be Sold
CompoundSemi News Staff

November 4, 2013...Investment company, Starboard Value LP and its affiliates, an owner of 8% of TriQuint Semiconductor and one of the its largest shareholders wrote a letter to shareholders. In the letter, Starboard outlined how the price of TriQuint Stock is being dragged down by the company's underperforming mobile power amplifier business. Starboard suggested that the performance of the Power Amplifier business needs to improve or the business should be sold.

Starboard asserted that that significant utilization problems have plagued the Mobile PA business, and missed design cycles contributed to large losses and reduced consolidated gross margins. Starboard noted, "In fact, over the last five years the Company underperformed its closest peers by more than 93%."

Starboard was however very positive about TriQuint's growing Networks & Defense and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) Filter businesses that combined produce about half of the Company’s revenue. Starboard said, "We believe that these two businesses alone are worth far more than where the Company currently trades."

According to the letter, TriQuint’s Network & Defense business, which produces GaAs products for optical networks, cellular base stations and military airborne radar, is underutilized by the market. However, Starboard praised the growth of TriQuint’s BAW Filter business based in Richardson, Texas, and outlined its growth potential with their increasing use in the LTE market and in higher frequency bands in which SAW filter performance will not suffice.

TriQuint welcomed the input saying that the company regularly reviews business strategy including the sale of underutilized equipment, share buybacks, as well as the withdrawal from unattractive businesses over time.

RFMD Introduces First 1.2 GHz Power Doubler Amplifier For New DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Specification
CompoundSemi News Staff

October 21, 2013...RFMD of Greensboro, North Carolina USA unveiled its first power doubler amplifier in a multi-chip module to support the new data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS) 3.1. RFMD claims its new gallium nitride- (GaN-) based RFCM3316 allows cable operators and multiple-system operators (MSOs) to easily upgrade existing CATV infrastructure. RFMD also boasts that the new power doubler amplifier increases effective downstream data rates from 160 Megabits per second (Mb/s) to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbit/s), and upstream data rates from 120 Mb/s to 1 Gbit/s.

Norm Hilgendorf, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group. "The RFCM3316 is a drop-in replacement to its predecessor, the RFCM2680, combining a small footprint with adjustable current consumption. Early customer feedback has been positive, and we look forward to supporting them as they roll out new DOCSIS 3.1-compliant products beginning in early 2014."

The RFCM3316 operates from 40MHz to 1200MHz and has a high output level of 60dBmV under a 1.2GHz channel loading with < 10-10 BER and 42dB MER and -80dB CTB and -80dB CSO. According to RFMD, the surface mountable device saves about 50 percent in board space compared to traditional SOT115J packages, while maintaining excellent linearity and ruggedness. The company says its use of GaN, allows operation at 20% less current than gallium arsenide-based products at a comparable distortion level. The RFCM3316 is now sampling with key customers, and volume production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

Skyworks Front End Solutions Support Broadcom 5G WiFi Reference Designs
CompoundSemi News Staff

October 21, 2013...Skyworks Solutions, Inc. of Woburn, Massachusetts USA, announced that Broadcom Corporation is leveraging its wireless connectivity front-end modules (FEMs) in several of Broadcom’s 5G WiFi reference designs. Broadcom claims that its 5G WiFi solutions enable some of the fastest download speeds available in access points, routers, DSL/cable gateways, PCs, smartphones and tablets. The 802.11ac (known as 5G WiFi) deployment will initially involve smartphones and tablets with connected televisions, media players and other devices to follow.

Skyworks’ complete 2.4 and 5 gigahertz (GHz) 802.11a/g/n/ac solutions integrate the power amplifier, filter, power detector, transmit/receive (T/R) switch, diplexer and associated matching in an very compact form factor. The company says that these solutions delivering all the essential functionality from the output of the SOC to the antenna.

Liam K. Griffin, executive vice president and corporate general manager at Skyworks stated, “Broadcom and Skyworks have a long history of partnering to deliver market leading solutions with performance and cost advantages for both manufacturers and consumers. This engagement comes as market demand for 5G WiFi is accelerating across developed and emerging markets.”

“With digital content consumption on the rise, particularly as consumers watch video on more devices and in more places around the home, Broadcom is closely collaborating with Skyworks to deliver solutions that offer the industry’s fastest wireless speeds and enhance the overall user experience,” said Dino Bekis, vice president, Marketing, Wireless Connectivity at Broadcom.

GaAs Device Market Posts Slight Growth for 2012 with Additional Growth Predicted
CompoundSemi News Staff

October 7, 2013...According to Strategy Analytics, a strong close to 2012 allowed the GaAs device market to eke out a small gain and record revenue for the year. This growth was primarily the result of the cellular segment, while most other segments for GaAs devices were flat or declining for the year. Strategy Analytics reports the overall GaAs device market grew by roughly 2 percent to close 2012 with slightly more than $5.3 billion of revenue. The company also predicts above average growth for the GaAs device market in the next two years, followed by slowing cellular demand resulting in revenues just under $6.1 billion in 2017.

"The GaAs market closed 2012 with strong growth and we have seen a continuation of that trend so far in 2013," noted Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs). "We anticipate 2013 and 2014 will see growth above historical averages as demand for cellular applications, particularly power amplifiers picks up. Unfortunately, we believe this will be short-lived as competitive technologies and new architectures combine to capture market share and slow the growth of GaAs devices."

Asif Anwar, Director in the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice (STP) added, "Silicon-based technologies, particularly CMOS and the trend toward multi-band power amplifiers will put a damper on the growth of GaAs device revenue."

TriQuint Introduces Small Cell Power Amplifier
CompoundSemi News Staff

September 30, 2013...TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon USA, has introduced its first integrated power amplifier solution for ‘small cell’ and active antenna base stations. So-called ‘small cell’ radio systems have deliberately-defined coverage areas that can improve connectivity for indoor or outdoor deployment of 3G/4G networks including LTE as required. TriQuint says that the new power amplifier solution dramatically reduces board space while offering high efficiency. TriQuint’s integrated small cell power amplifier, the TGA2450-SM, is the first in a family serving all key mobile infrastructure frequency bands. TriQuint asserts that significantly reducing board space allows network infrastructure OEMs to reduce the size of radio systems and their bills of materials.

“The market trend is towards more densely-packed, smaller radio links—small cells. TriQuint’s highly-integrated solution offers the flexibility to support our customers’ emerging designs. Our product family uses only half the space of traditional discrete parts,” says infrastructure and defense products vice president and general manager, James L. Klein.

“Highly integrated power amplifier solutions such as the TGA2450-SM and filtering technology offered by TriQuint support additional network capacity, higher efficiency systems and reduced system BOMs. The overall LTE outdoor microcell market is expected to begin high volume shipments in 2014 and reach USD $1.8 billion by 2017,” said Earl J. Lum, president of EJL Wireless Research.

TriQuint’s new power amplifier and other solutions for base station, networks and defense applications will be displayed during the European Microwave Week exhibition, October 8-10, 2013 (Nuremberg, Germany).

TeraXion and Canada’s National Research Council Partner on Development of High Speed Modulators
CompoundSemi News Staff

September 16, 2013...TeraXion Inc., a maker of optical components and modules, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have announced a strategic partnership. The partnership is to further develop and fabricate TeraXion’s new modulator products family and its next-generation Indium Phosphide high-speed modulators for 100 Gb/s and beyond coherent transmission systems. Work on the project will will take place at NRC’s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre in Ottawa.

“We are proud of this partnership with TeraXion and believe that combining our world-class process capabilities along with TeraXion’s design expertise will deliver results in the marketplace,” said François Cordeau, General Manager of the Information and Communications Technologies portfolio at the National Research Council of Canada.

“The new modulator concept will use a proprietary design to achieve world record low power consumption as well as reaching very high modulation speeds necessary for 100 Gb/s and above transmission,” said Ian Woods, Vice-President InP Platform at TeraXion Inc. “In addition, the form factor of this modulator will be ten times smaller than the competing technologies available today.”

Comtech Telecommunications Receives $1.9 Million Contract for High-Power Amplifiers
CompoundSemi News Staff

September 9, 2013...Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced that its Melville, New York-based subsidiary, Comtech PST Corp., received a $1.9 million contract from an unnamed domestic OEM to provide solid-state high-power amplifiers. These amplifiers will serve as key components in a complex Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system used to "interrogate" aircraft to determine their friend or foe status. This order adds to the IFF solid-state high-power amplifiers that Comtech previously delivered to this customer.

Fred Kornberg, President and CEO of Comtech said, "This order reaffirms the quality and reliability of Comtech's solid-state amplifier products as well as the continuation of our relationship with this premier supplier of IFF systems to both U.S. and international customers."

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