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Test and Measurement

Skyworks Commences Volume Production of BAW Filters for 802.11 b,g Access Points

January 17, 2011
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Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:SWKS), an innovator of high performance analog and mixed signal semiconductors enabling mobile connectivity, today announced that is has commenced volume shipments of its first high-performance bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filter, the SKY33100-360LF, which is initially being deployed for wireless local area network (WLAN) 802.11 b,g access points. Skyworks is also developing BAW filters and duplexers for use in transmit front-end modules for personal communications system (PCS) and universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) cellular handsets. BAW filters are integral components of radio frequency architectures and according to Strategy Analytics demand is projected to exceed $1.5 billion by 2010. Given their particular combination of small footprint, low profile and high performance, they are extremely valuable in enabling next-generation wireless products, which increasingly require greater functionality and reduced form factors. When combined with Skyworks’ high-quality switches, power amplifiers (PAs), FEMs and transceivers, the company is uniquely positioned as a one-stop supplier for wireless manufacturers requiring highly integrated radio frequency (RF) solutions for a wide array of air interfaces and system architectures. Skyworks entered the BAW filter market two years ago as part of its strategic effort to develop diverse, differentiated products. “We are delighted to have reached volume production with our BAW filters so soon after our initial entry into the market,” said Stan Swearingen, Skyworks’ vice president and general manager. “Expanding our portfolio to include BAW filters was the logical next step in RF integration for Skyworks, particularly as we continue to look for ways to reduce cost, size and overall component count to create solutions that support a variety of applications.” About BAW Filters Filters are the first line of defense against interference at the front-end of all radios, as they block unwanted frequencies, while a defined frequency bandpass is transmitted with very low loss. As an increasing number of communication systems use RF frequency bands, very high selectivity filters have become more important in ensuring that systems with close frequency bands do not interfere with each other. A great challenge for RF filters is to provide low loss in a desired transmission band, and yet give high rejection at nearby frequencies, such as those just outside the passband. BAW filter technology is ideally suited for achieving such high selectivity since it works by transducing electrical signals into very low loss resonant acoustic vibrations in piezoelectric structures. This is similar to what happens in quartz crystals used as electromechanical circuit elements in timing references. BAW filters are fabricated using semiconductor wafer fabrication techniques similar to those already used by Skyworks to manufacture heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) PAs and pHEMT switches. Skyworks leverages all of the known benefits of wafer fabrication to achieve the high precision, high repeatability, and large volume capability to address the RF filter needs of the company’s wireless communications customers. About the SKY33100-360LF The SKY33100-360LF filter, which is delivered in a 2 x 2 mm QFN package, has very low in-band insertion loss, excellent near-band rejection, very low input-and-output return loss, and thus offers better performance at 2.4 gigahertz and higher when compared to other solutions. The filter’s function is to dramatically reduce out-of-band spurious responses, enabling compliance with FCC regulations at a higher-in-band transmission power and improves handling with more robust architectures. Intended for use in wireless local area network (WLAN) and industrial scientific medical (ISM) bands, the device can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to + 85 degrees Celsius and is available in a lead (Pb)-free, restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS)-compliant package. Pricing and Availability The SKY33100-360LF is available for sampling now and is priced at $2.15 for quantities of 10,000. Volume production is scheduled to commence this month.

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