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10 March 2008


RFMD expecting strong growth for emerging-market products

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA says that it is forecasting strong growth in 2008 for its portfolio of open market solutions targeting emerging markets.

In 2008, handset sales are expected to exceed 1.2bn, and the demand for emerging-market handsets is expected to significantly outpace the overall rate of growth of handset sales. Accordingly, RFMD forecasts that sales of its RF3198 and recently introduced RF4180 PowerStar front ends will accelerate in 2008 and extend what it claims is its cellular front-end leadership position in GSM/GPRS emerging-market handsets.

The firm says that its RF3198 PowerStar dual-band power amplifier (PA) module and RF4180 PowerStar dual-band transmit module provide smaller overall RF footprint and reduced bill-of-materials in low-cost and reduced form factor solutions. Specifically, the RF3198 is expected to achieve record shipments in 2008 as a result of its optimized balance of cost and performance as well as its participation on an upcoming GSM/GPRS reference design. Also, the RF4180 is expected to gain traction throughout 2008 on multiple system-on-chip (SoC) reference designs due to its highly integrated, cost-effective transmit module architecture.

In the market for GSM/GPRS emerging-market handsets, time to market (TTM) and cost of implementation (COI) are central challenges facing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), RFMD points out. Despite this, both OEMs and ODMs continue to demand industry-standard RF performance related to output power, harmonic levels and talk time in their emerging-market handsets. Leading OEMs are also raising the performance bar by requiring total radiated power (TRP) and specific absorption rate (SAR) compliance in their GSM/GPRS handsets. Each of these requirements serves to increase design complexity in the front-end section of emerging-market handsets.

As the cellular front-end leader, RFMD says it is able to leverage unique competitive advantages to deliver solutions that solve the challenges of front-end complexity. RFMD’s emerging-market products leverage industry-leading scale and advanced design techniques to reduce both RF footprint and overall bill-of-materials - two key challenges in the design and manufacture of emerging-market handsets. Similarly, RFMD’s emerging-market products feature high power efficiency, which ensures overall thermal performance and improves battery life, enabling inexpensive handsets that meet or exceed requirements for size, quality, and reliability, the firm claims.

As an example, the high level of integration of the RF4180 module helps to reduce the RF footprint, improve handset line yields and speed TTM of customers’ mobile devices. The RF4180 also features RFMD’s enhanced PowerStar with power-flattening technology, which lowers COI while also assisting in TRP compliance. For handset designs not requiring integrated transmit switch functionality, the RF3198 delivers ease of implementation and optimized performance in a low-cost dual-band PA architecture. The improved isolation, harmonic performance and cross-band coupling of the RF3198 reduce RF complexity and increase design flexibility related to antenna and switch selection, says RFMD.

See related item:

RFMD launches new products at GSMA Mobile World Congress

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