RF Micro Devices Inc. (RFMD), a leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance radio frequency components and compound semiconductor technologies, announced that it has commenced pre-production shipments of high-performance gallium nitride (GaN)-based CATV hybrid amplifiers to a major US-based cable television (CATV) equipment provider.

Operators of hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks are installing fiber capacity deeper into their networks ("fiber deep" networks) in order to address the increasing demand for higher throughput video and broadband services. Accordingly, CATV equipment providers looking to reduce the cost of fiber deep networks are seeking semiconductor devices capable of higher RF output levels than those available from today's state-of-the-art GaAs-based devices.

RFMD's GaN CATV hybrid amplifiers provide industry-leading RF output levels, and cable operators using RFMD's GaN can reduce the number of amplifiers required in emerging architectures, also known as N+1 architectures, and achieve up to 20-percent cost savings in fiber deep networks.

"We are excited to announce pre-production shipments of our GaN-based CATV hybrid amplifiers to this major CATV customer," said Alastair Upton, General Manager of RFMD's Broadband Components business unit. "With our GaN semiconductor expertise and our world-class CATV manufacturing capability, RFMD is uniquely positioned to bring the next generation of high-performance CATV amplifiers to the CATV equipment market."

RFMD's initial GaN shipments to this CATV customer are intended for use in optical nodes, and subsequent shipments are also expected to be used in line extender amplifier applications. Volume production is expected in the first half of calendar 2010.