BOSTON, USA: RF Micro Devices Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components, announced the company has formed a gallium nitride (GaN) Foundry Services business unit to supply high-reliability, high-performance and price-competitive GaN semiconductor technology into multiple RF power markets.
The RFMD GaN Foundry Services business unit will leverage the company's industry leadership in gallium arsenide (GaAs) manufacturing capacity and cycle times, as well as a range of new customer services, to drive shorter time-to-market and minimize time between initial wafer order and final delivery.
RFMD is the industry's leading manufacturer of GaAs compound semiconductors. RFMD's GaN manufacturing is interchangeable with its GaAs manufacturing and directly benefits from the scale and demonstrated expertise of RFMD's industry-leading wafer fabrication capability.
Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group, said: "RFMD's Foundry Services business unit is providing GaN foundry customers access to RFMD's industry-leading compound semiconductor technology and production facility and the many benefits of RFMD's scale manufacturing, including reliability, uniformity, cycle time and quality. RFMD GaN is a breakthrough technology that can change the RF power component industry as a result of its superior linearity, bandwidth and RF power density. Additionally, RFMD GaN is a "green" technology enabling higher efficiencies than previously possible, thereby requiring less power consumption to achieve similar performance or superior performance at similar power consumption levels."
RFMD's offering of GaN foundry services is distinctive in the industry because RFMD operates the industry's largest GaAs fabrication facility (fab) and has supplied its customers billions of high-reliability, high-quality compound semiconductor based RF components.
By utilizing its existing, high-volume manufacturing assets, RFMD is able to deliver foundry customers GaN technology with predictable, industry-leading reliability and increased uniformity. RFMD offers industry-leading cycle times and estimates its GaN cycle times through its wafer fab are typically 30-40% faster than its competition.
Also, by leveraging RFMD's deep knowledge of semiconductor process models to accurately predict product performance, RFMD's Foundry Services business unit can lower customer development costs by reducing the number of prototype runs necessary to meet customer specifications.
Customer applications expected to benefit from RFMD GaN include commercial and defense power applications including wireless infrastructure, CATV line amplifiers, broadband communication, power amplifiers and various defense radar systems.
Additionally, RFMD's Foundry Services customers gain access to a seasoned Foundry Services support team with first-hand knowledge of foundry customers' expectations and requirements. RFMD's Foundry Services support team combines more than 50 years of foundry services experience, both as foundry customers and foundry suppliers.
Additionally, RFMD's Foundry Services support team has implemented a full set of services intended to minimize the total time from order entry to customer delivery. Services include simulation models that enable a high probability of initial success and business processes that enable little or no queue time.
RFMD GaN is a next-generation compound semiconductor technology that delivers much higher power density and breakdown voltage than competing technologies and is ideally suited for very high performance power devices.
Typical operating characteristics of RFMD GaN include operating voltages of 48 (or 65) volts, power density of 6 to 8 watts/mm, FTs of 11 GHz and F max of 18 GHz and MTTF greater than 100M hours at 150 degrees C channel operating temperature.