RF Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: RFMD), a leading provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, today introduced the next generation of its industry-leading PowerStar(R) power amplifier (PA) module portfolio. The two new PowerStar PA modules measure 6x6x1.4mm and represent greater than 30 percent reduction in size versus the previous generation of PowerStar PA modules. The PA modules reduce complexity and streamline the design process, enabling handset manufacturers to accelerate feature-rich handsets to market.
The newest generation of RFMD's PowerStar PA modules includes:
-- the quad-band RF3158 (GSM/GPRS/EDGE), optimized for linear EDGE using either direct I&Q modulators or small signal polar modulation, and
-- the quad-band RF3166 (GSM/GPRS), optimized for GSM/GPRS class 12.
The RF3158 and RF3166 also feature integrated battery voltage (VBATT) tracking circuitry, which is an industry first for standard PA module products. Battery voltage monitoring circuitry automatically measures battery voltage and adjusts ramp voltage, thereby preventing the power control loop from reaching saturation during low voltage battery conditions. VBATT tracking circuitry also significantly reduces transients, which occur at low battery voltage conditions and can reduce efficiency. Prior to RFMD's integrated VBATT tracking circuit technology, handset designers were required to manually adjust ramp voltage within the software. RFMD's VBATT tracking circuit reduces handset design time and ensures robust performance over broad operating conditions.
Konrad Alvarino, general manager of power amplifier products, RF Micro Devices, said, "RFMD is unique in its ability to supply PAs across all major air interface standards, enabling our customers broad flexibility across all cellular protocols, including GSM, GPRS, CDMA, WCDMA, polar EDGE and linear EDGE.
"By leveraging our expertise in process and packaging technologies, we've integrated battery voltage tracking circuitry into a 6x6mm form factor, thereby offering our design partners exceptional GPRS and EDGE performance in a simple and easy to use module. RFMD designers have included all the necessary matching components into the modules, so layout and assembly requirements are simplified to input and output traces only. With their reduced footprint, the highly integrated RF3158 and RF3166 also provide enhanced performance and ease of implementation, thereby enabling our customers to introduce high-quality, feature-rich next-generation handsets more quickly and cost-effectively."
RFMD sells more power amplifiers than any other company in the wireless semiconductor industry, and the PowerStar portfolio represents the industry's leading family of PA modules with integrated power control. The RF3158 and RF3166 are the smallest and most feature-rich PowerStar PA modules ever introduced.
Additional Customer Benefits of Next Generation RF3158 and RF3166
-- Solutions Require No External Components or Critical Routing for Simplified Layout
Using RFMD's low-cost laminate module substrate technology, the RF3158 and RF3166 are the industry's first true quad-band 6x6x1.4mm GSM/GPRS/EDGE PA modules that incorporate all RF matching and bypassing circuitry, eliminating the need for external bypass components and critical routing. This higher level of integration reduces board space and simplifies layout, both of which reduce design time for handset manufacturers.
-- High Degree of Power and Current Flatness Over All Four Bands for Optimal Tuning Performance
The RF3158 and RF3166 feature power and current flatness over all four bands for easy optimization and tuning, which provides superior current consumption. In addition, the PA modules enable handset designers to quickly implement robust transmit solutions and take advantage of superior efficiency.
-- Patented Integrated Power Control for Simple and Efficient Production Calibration
All of RFMD's PowerStar PA modules feature the Company's patented integrated power control, which is designed to maximize transmitter yields and minimize design time. The integrated power control function eliminates the need for directional couplers, detector diodes, power control ASICs and other power control circuitry, which allows the module to be driven directly from the DAC output. Integrated power control allows single-point calibration in all four bands, enabling handset manufacturers to achieve simple and efficient phone calibration during production. In addition, integrated power control reduces cost and enhances performance.
The high-power, high-efficiency RF3158 and RF3166 are self-contained PA modules with 50-ohm input and over 50 dB of control range. The RF3158 is designed for use as the final RF amplifier in GSM/EDGE, GSM850, DCS and PCS handheld digital cellular equipment and other applications operating in the 824 MHz to 915 MHz and 1710 MHz to 1910 MHz bands. The RF3166 is designed for use as the final RF amplifier in GSM850, EGSM900, DCS and PCS handheld digital cellular equipment and other applications operating in the 824 MHz to 849 MHz, 880 MHz to 915 MHz, 1710 MHz to 1785 MHz, and 1850 MHz to 1910 MHz bands.
The RF3166 is in mass production now from RFMD and is priced at $1.95 in quantities of 10,000 units. The RF3158 is currently being sampled to customers and will ramp into mass production in the second quarter of calendar year 2005.
RFMD will showcase the RF3158 and RF3166 PowerStar PA modules at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, February 14-17, Booth #E32.
For more information about RFMD or the RF3158 and RF3166, please visit www.rfmd.com. Product photography is available by downloading it from the product photography website: http://www.rfmd.com/coInfoPromotionalPhotos.asp.
RF Micro Devices, Inc., an ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified manufacturer, designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications products and applications. The Company is a leading supplier of power amplifiers, one of the most critical radio frequency (RF) components in cellular phones. The Company is also the leading manufacturer of GaAs HBT, which offers distinct advantages over other technologies for the manufacture of current- and next-generation power amplifiers. The Company's products are included primarily in cellular phones, base stations, wireless local area networks (WLANs), cable television modems and global positioning systems (GPS). The Company derives revenue from the sale of standard and custom-designed products. The Company offers a broad array of products including amplifiers, mixers, modulators/demodulators and single-chip transmitters, Bluetooth(R) products and receivers and transceivers that represent a substantial majority of the RFICs required in wireless subscriber equipment. The Company's goal is to be the premier supplier of low-cost, high-performance integrated circuits and solutions for applications that enable wireless connectivity. RF Micro Devices, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol RFMD.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to RF Micro Devices' plans, objectives, estimates and goals. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "projects," "believes" and "estimates," and variations of these words and similar expressions, identify these forward-looking statements. RF Micro Devices' business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including variability in quarterly operating results, the rate of growth and development of wireless markets, risks associated with the operation of wafer fabrication, molecular beam epitaxy and other foreign and domestic manufacturing facilities, our ability to attract and retain skilled personnel and develop leaders, variability in production yields, our ability to reduce costs and improve gross margins by implementing innovative technologies, our ability to bring new products to market, our ability to adjust production capacity in a timely fashion in response to changes in demand for our products, dependence on a limited number of customers and dependence on third parties. These and other risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in RF Micro Devices' most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any of these forward-looking statements.
RF MICRO DEVICES(R), RFMD(R) and PowerStar(R) are trademarks of RFMD, LLC.
RF Micro Devices, Inc. Jerry Neal, 336-664-1233