We don’t talk very much about local community service and high quality company culture as a technical magazine. I was lucky enough to be invited to a Microsemi reception yesterday afternoon where they showed their commitment to the local Lawrence and Lowell community at their manufacturing facility in Lawrence, MA. It is an impressive old mill building that has been transformed into clean room wafer fabrication, assembly and test space housing about 200 employees. I was not aware that Microsemi has 6 wafer fabs and 11 manufacturing sites worldwide.
The Lawrence building has an interesting history as it was constructed in 1910 as a 160,000 sq. ft. Arlington Mills textile factory. In 1960-1977 the IRS occupied the building followed by a decade with ITT that took over after that time. In 1990-2000, several semiconductor/electronic manufacturers occupied the facility and in 2008, Microsemi purchased the property.
The Discrete Products Group represented at these facilities produces products mostly for A&D applications but also services communications, data center and industrial/medical applications. The Lawrence facility has Hi-Rel testing, wafer fabrication, assembly, packaging, electrical and environmental testing. For RF and microwave products, the company offers Si and GaAs diodes, MMIC amplifiers and control products, power transistors (including GaN), SAW products, high frequency modules/assemblies and WLAN RFICs.
Microsemi has been very active in acquiring companies over the years including many of the RF and microwave players like Unitrode Semiconductor Products, SGS Thompson RF Semiconductors, Narda Microwave Semiconductor, APT, MDT, Spectrum Microwave, Endwave, Symmetricom, Centellax and most recently Phonon Corporation. The diversity of products around the company is very wide including Audio & Voice Products, Circuit Protection, Drivers/Interfaces/PCIe Switches, Ethernet and PoE Solutions, FPGAs & SoCs, Optical Networking, Power Discretes & Modules, Power Management, RF/Microwave/Millimeter Wave Products, Storage Solutions and Timing & Synchronization.
Many local politicians attended including representatives, police and fire chiefs, the local mayor and senator. Microsemi outlined their diversity showing that greater than 50% of their local employees are women and minorities. Their site spend in Lawrence is $3.6 Million and $6 Million in Lawrence and Lowell together contributing to the local economy. Microsemi concluded the event with surprise $1000 donations to 5 local non-profit organizations such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club. It is great to see high-tech employers with an appreciation for community and service like Microsemi.