Skyworks Solutions Inc. introduced a pair of ultra compact, dual-band transmit GSM/GPRS front-end modules (FEM) for handsets targeted at emerging markets. The SKY77517 and SKY77518 are low cost, highly integrated solutions that simplify radio design and leverage Skyworks' advanced manufacturing techniques to shrink the RF footprint and reduce bill of materials—two key challenges OEMs face when designing low cost phones. In emerging markets, both consumers and operators require handsets that are inexpensive yet meet or exceed specific requirements for quality, reliability and size.

"Skyworks is pleased to lead the effort to provide cost-effective, high performance solutions which meet the primary development obstacles for cellular phones in emerging markets," said Kevin D. Barber, senior vice president and general manager for Mobile Platforms at Skyworks. "Our simplified front-end module architecture provides significant cost benefits in R&D, logistics and manufacturing, enabling handset providers to meet the increasing demands of this high volume market."

According to ABI Research, up to 80 percent of the world's population lives within range of a cellular network; however, only 25 percent subscribe to a mobile phone service. Industry observers believe low cost handsets could expand the market by as many as three billion customers.

With the addition of the SKY77517 and SKY77518, Skyworks' family of Intera™ front-end modules now support all key air interfaces and market segments, expanding the company's highly successful GPRS, EDGE, CDMA and WCDMA product portfolio that today are at the heart of over 100 million handsets.