Microwave Journal

Picochip Expands Facilities in UK and China

December 7, 2010

Picochip has announced significant expansion in its worldwide operations. The femtocell manufacturer has moved to a new headquarters and engineering center in its home city of Bath, UK, opened an advanced test laboratory in Cambridge, UK, and announced plans to double the size of its development centre in Beijing, China.

“In 2010 we have seen dramatic growth in our business, and we expect to sell one million femtocell chips this year,” said Nigel Toon, President and CEO of Picochip. “As femtocells have moved from trials to volume deployment in the UK, USA and Asia, Picochip has maintained both technology leadership and market leadership. We are growing organically in Bath and Beijing, and now with the new site in Cambridge we gain not just sophisticated facilities, but also a highly skilled group of engineers used to working at the system level. This expansion supports our business and allows us to grow as we start shipping products for LTE.”

Worldwide, the company now employs 170 people, with plans to expand significantly in 2011, at engineering facilities in Bath, Cambridge and Beijing, and offices in Seoul, San Jose, Shenzhen and Taipei. The new 1,400 m2 headquarters in Bath is home to 110 staff, with corporate functions, sales and marketing, and a full engineering and product development facility including a brand new 470 m2 development lab.

The new facility in Cambridge enables Picochip to broaden its scope, offering end-to-end system test capabilities. A highly expert engineering team will staff the fully equipped system verification laboratory, which boasts significant investment in test equipment, including RF-screened chambers, femtocell gateways for interoperability testing and protocol test systems.

Toon continued, “As the femtocell market matures, our customers expect us to deliver more complete solutions. This new facility allows us to perform more comprehensive test and verification, complementing our existing relationships with third parties such as Nash Technologies and Agilent. This includes end-to-end system verification and extensive handset interoperability testing, which will support our customers in their development, accelerate their time-to-market and reduce their costs.”