Microwave Journal

RFMD® Signs $1.4M Contract with U.S. Department of Defense for Development of GaN Technology and High-Power RF Solutions

November 12, 2008

RFMD Releases Its GaN Process Technology For Production Designs In The Company's High-Volume Commercial Wafer. Fab

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq: RFMD), a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components, announced at its fourth annual Analyst Day today that the Company has signed a 12-month contract with the United States Department of Defense (DoD) valued at $1.4 million for the development of Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology and high-power RF solutions.

The contract award (#FA8650-05-C-5411) represents an extension to previous contracts with the DoD and is in support of RFMD's ongoing GaN RF power technology project. The goals of the program include reliability verification, passive element development and technology qualification of a manufacturable 48V GaN RF power process for amplifiers and switches. In addition, the current program supports the demonstration of wideband, high power GaN MMIC amplifier and switch circuits targeting L, S, and C-band applications.

RFMD has recorded contract revenue in excess of $1M over the last six months. Furthermore, RFMD expects to receive additional DoD contract awards in calendar year 2009. Beyond the current program, RFMD currently has $5M in contract backlog to expand the capabilities of its GaN RF technology over the next 18 months and has received nearly $10M in DoD contract funding since 2004. This additional funding is intended to extend the cut-off frequency of RFMD's GaN process up to 90GHz.

Jeff Shealy, vice president and general manager of RFMD's Aerospace & Defense Business Unit, said, "We are very pleased to receive continued DoD support for our GaN high power RF technology targeting military and civilian radar systems and multi-band radios requiring wideband, high efficiency amplifiers up to 500 watts. Looking forward, we are also fortunate to have future program support to expand the frequency capability of our GaN process into millimeter wave frequencies, enabling us to target new radar, electronic warfare (EW) and Satcom radio applications."

Bob Van Buskirk, president of RFMD's Multi-Market Products Group, said, "Our recent award and strong DoD contract funding backlog highlight our growing presence in the Aerospace & Defense marketplace and underscore our leadership in the development and manufacture of advanced compound semiconductor technologies. RFMD anticipates its efforts in GaN RF power technology development will support multiple advances across a range of applications including Aerospace & Defense, wireless infrastructure and CATV infrastructure."

RFMD anticipates its GaN RF power technology will deliver configurable wideband, high power amplifiers with improved efficiency and ruggedness, versus currently available high power RF technologies. Configurable wideband amplifiers enable radio architecture convergence with reduced bill of materials (BOM) complexity, while improved ruggedness adds further protection in challenging operating environments. RFMD expects to offer GaN at very competitive pricing as it is produced internally by the world's largest GaAs manufacturer and given the company's high-volume supply chain. The addressable market for GaN RF power technology is expected to be approximately $172 million by 2012, driven by Aerospace & Defense, 3G-BTS, WiMAX infrastructure and CATV. GaN for WiMAX will depend strongly on the LTE market penetration and on the related frequency in use.

Separately, RFMD announced today that its GaN process technology, fabricated in the Company's high-volume commercial wafer fab, has been released for production designs for a broad range of Aerospace & Defense and commercial applications.

RFMD's Aerospace & Defense Business Unit has a proven track record of operational excellence and a demonstrated legacy of successful military programs and space program flight history. The Aerospace & Defense Business Unit delivers world-class product innovation and global customer support via multiple design and manufacturing facilities located in North America and Europe. Manufacturing facilities for military and space-level programs are equipped with complete reliability analysis labs as well as in-house screening and qualification with AS9100 certification. For more information please see www.rfmd.com/aerospacedefense.