Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., a supplier of high performance RF CMOS and mixed-signal communications integrated circuits (IC), announced the expansion of its European design and manufacturing operations and the opening of a new facility located in Aix-en-Provence, France. Peregrine Semiconductor Europe (PSE) operations include RF integrated circuit (RFIC) design and engineering at its design center in Aix-en-Provence, France; IC wafer manufacturing from wafer foundry Sapphicon in Australia and UMC in Taiwan; assembly and packaging from Hybritech Composants Microelectroniques (HCM) France; and back-end testing at partner Rood Microtec in Germany. PSE activities will focus on developing new RFIC products of European content to better support specific European design requirements, as well as providing design services for Peregrine’s next-generation UltraCMOS(TM) RFIC portfolio sold worldwide.

“We are extremely pleased to be expanding our commitment to a country, and a region, which have been instrumental to the worldwide adoption of UltraCMOS™ silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) as the IC process technology of choice for RF designs,” commented Jim Cable, CEO and President of parent-company Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. “In a time of widespread economic turmoil, Peregrine is among the exceptions in being able to post positive revenue growth and expand our design and manufacturing capabilities to further demonstrate our commitment to the European RF engineering community. We are very encouraged by the support of our customers as well as the talented staff that have joined us.”

Peregrine Semiconductor Europe operates as a subsidiary of Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. under the direction of Pascal LeBohec. LeBohec also manages international sales for Peregrine’s high-reliability IC business, which originated more than a dozen years ago and continues today with customers such as Astrium, Thales Alenia Space, and Tesat and RUAG, all member-companies of the European Space Agency (ESA), which recognized the market-leading performance benefits of UltraCMOS by qualifying Peregrine’s phase-locked loop frequency synthesizers (PLL) for adoption into their space satellite programs. Today, Peregrine devices are in flight with some of the world’s largest satellite programs, including Globalstar, ExoMars, Glonass and Gallileo.

“I am proud to be part of a globally conscious company that invests in the creation of jobs and opportunities to develop specific strengths in support of its European customers,” said LeBohec. “Some of the world’s most visionary RF designs originate in Europe, and Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology provides the ideal RF front-end solution.”

The first devices originating from the new European operation are world-class, next-generation PLLs, which provide exceptional RF performance demanded by the rigors of rad-hard space and other high-reliability applications. In addition to its broad performance benefits, there are fundamental properties of UltraCMOS technology that make it exceptionally green: devices built on CMOS-based UltraCMOS consume dramatically less power than high-voltage processes such as SiGe or GaAs; and enable high levels of monolithic integration, resulting in smaller die, fewer external components in the design and less eWaste. In particular, while Reduction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) initiatives across Europe are pressing the strict prohibition of carcinogens such as gallium-arsenide and its associated arsenic slurries, UltraCMOS RFICs, manufactured with a sapphire substrate, offer a more environmentally friendly option to forward-looking, earth-conscious engineering teams.