The RF industry has had an unprecedented number of larger mergers this year. I believe it is a sign the wireless is maturing and bigger companies with scale are needed to drive down costs to mainstream our technology. It started early this year when Macom acquired Nitronex and then kicked into high gear in early summer with the mergers of RFMD and TriQuint, Cobham and Aeroflex, and ADI and Hittite. These announcements made big waves in the industry but it was not over. Now Murata, an $8.4 billion wireless giant, has announced it is acquiring Peregrine.
I was able to talk with Duncan Pilgrim, VP of marketing at Peregrine, this morning, and he stated that the intent of the acquisition is for Peregrine to maintain its brand and be operated as a subsidiary of Murata. Murata does about half of its business in the communications market as one of the largest suppliers of modules in the world. They also have significant business in the automotive, computer, audio/visual and home appliance markets. They are strong in the area of passive component/module technologies like filtering and switching but already use Peregrine active devices in their products so it seems like a great match. Peregrine is strong in the active device technologies so matching the two should be a winning strategy.
Peregrine has made a strong play this year raising their profile and releasing some ground breaking products such as the Global 1 reconfigurable RF handset front end and high power limiters to add to their already industry leading switching product portfolio. For years I thought that UltraCMOS would just be used for control products, but they have extended the process nicely into power products. It was interesting that the Global 1 process was done on lower cost SOI UltraCMOS while the other high performance products remain on the original SOS process. We actually have an upcoming webinar about intelligent integration that will explore how to use their technologies in various applications. Let me know what your thoughts are on all of this industry consolidation.