FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.


24 July 2008


Peregrine Semiconductor’s UltraCMOS RFIC reaches milestone

Supplier of RF CMOS and mixed-signal communications ICs Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation of San Diego, USA has shipped its 300 millionth UltraCMOS RFIC, following an order for the firm’s PE42672 SP7T RF switches. The switches are designed into RF transmit and front-end modules for cellular handsets supporting the WCDMA, HSPA, EDGE and GSM/GPRS networks.

Introduced in October 2005, the HaRP-enhanced PE42672 3G antenna switch utilized in the WCDMA design is a high-throw count RF switch. It began shipping into major handset manufacturers throughout 2007 and 2008.

"We are extremely pleased to have achieved this milestone," said Jim Cable, Peregrine Semiconductor's CEO. "It speaks to the widespread adoption of our UltraCMOS technology into very high-volume commercial RF applications. Our momentum is strong: at the close of 2005, we had shipped a cumulative 20 million units since the inception of the company. By the end of 2006, we nearly quadrupled that output and reached a cumulative 70 million units. Today, we are manufacturing almost 4 million units per week have shipped our 300 millionth unit."

Mark Christensen, RF Analyst for Prismark Partners, said: "The high levels of integration and extremely high performance afforded by the UltraCMOS process allows for new front-end architectures that can handle the complexities of multi-band, multi-mode wireless applications."

Historically, pin-diodes and GaAs-based devices held a dominant market position in the RF front end, says Peregrine Semiconductor. However, as the demand for complex functionality in the front-end increased, designers sought a path toward integration of digital functionality. The company claims that its UltraCMOS technology offers the industry's only solution for high-performance RF combined with digital control, and the innovative flip-chip die for unprecedented space and cost savings.

UltraCMOS mixed-signal process technology is a variation of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology on a sapphire substrate. It combines the RF, mixed-signal, and digital capabilities of any other CMOS process, yet tolerates the high power required for high-performance wireless applications. The company's HaRP technology enables improvements in harmonic results, linearity and overall RF performance. Peregrine Semiconductor concludes that its technology offers performance advantages over processes such as GaAs, SiGe, BiCMOS and bulk silicon CMOS in applications where RF performance, low power and integration are paramount.

See related item:

GaAs pHEMT switch market tempered by captive producers and CMOS

Search: CMOS RFIC GaAs SiGe BiCMOS SOI Sapphire substrate