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RFMD® Expands 3G Front End Leadership With Triple-Path Cellular Front End for Leading 3G Handset Platform

August 13, 2008
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RFMD's WCDMA/HSPA Power Amplifier Delivers Unmatched Broadband Performance and Industry-Leading TRP Compliance

GREENSBORO, N.C., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD), a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components, today announced it has captured a major design win on a leading handset original equipment manufacturer's (OEM's) upcoming 3G multimode handset platform. RFMD® secured the design win with the industry's highest performance and most highly integrated triple-path, broadband power amplifier (PA), delivering unmatched broadband performance and TRP compliance. Based upon current customer forecasts and design activity, RFMD anticipates volume shipments to commence in the fourth quarter of calendar 2008.

RFMD's triple-path 3G PA combines three broadband (multi-band capable) power amplification paths in a single, size-reduced package. The highly integrated PA features two high-band broadband amplifiers and one low-band broadband amplifier, thereby enabling 3G handset designers to simultaneously address any combination of the eight major WCDMA cellular frequency bands without the need for external tuning. Additionally, the broadband, triple-path capability enables handset designers to implement a single RF platform across all 3G band combinations -- delivering maximum flexibility, reducing space requirements and accelerating time to market.

The triple-path, broadband 3G PA succeeds a highly successful dual-path, broadband 3G PA that is currently in high volume and also implements a balanced amplifier design. The balanced design improves total radiated power (TRP) and specific absorption rate (SAR) performance, thereby eliminating the need for costly RF isolators and further simplifying multi-band platform implementation. RFMD is the industry leader in enabling TRP-compliant handsets, which improve network efficiency, enhance network coverage and increase data throughput -- all of which are critical metrics related to 3G handsets.

"We're extremely pleased to support this leading OEM with our ground-breaking triple-path, broadband 3G power amplifier," said Eric Creviston, president of RFMD's Cellular Products Group. "Handset designers using our broadband 3G PA can implement a single, scalable 3G platform that services multiple WCDMA bands through simple changes in filter components. No change to the RF layout of the phone board is necessary. As the leading supplier of 3G cellular front ends, RFMD is proud to deliver the industry's most integrated and most capable broadband 3G PA.

"Looking forward, we plan to introduce additional 3G front ends with even greater functionality, higher dollar content and higher levels of integration, as future architectures incorporate duplexers, switches and other functions previously implemented on phone boards discretely."

RFMD's multi-band, broadband 3G product offerings include the RF6280 3G transmit system, which supports all major WCDMA frequency bands and is comprised of a front end power management IC optimized for use with either one or both of two available power amplifier (PA) options: the RF6281 and/or the RF6285. The RF6281 is a dedicated single-band power amplifier module (supporting Band I), and the RF6285 is a flexible multi-band, broadband power amplifier module (capable of supporting Bands I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX).

RFMD is capturing additional RF content as the handset industry continues to migrate toward data-centric 3G handsets. 3G handsets covering multiple regions require multiple WCDMA frequency bands, and therefore more PAs, duplexers, switches and supporting components. In 2009, RFMD anticipates approximately 50% of 3G handsets will support two or more WCDMA frequency bands. RFMD is the industry leader in 3G front ends and enjoys an advantage in 3G design activity, given its leading product portfolio, manufacturing scale, systems-level expertise and packaging and assembly capabilities -- all of which enable RFMD to minimize complexity, reduce component count and optimize the RF design of multi-band WCDMA/HSPA handsets and mobile devices.

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