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14 August 2007


Skyworks receives certification for automotive quality standard

Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA has received ISO/TS 16949 certification, allowing it to supply to the automotive market (estimated by Lehman Brothers to represent a total available market of about $16bn).

ISO/TS 16949 certification was developed by the International Automotive Task Force (IATF), in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The IATF consists of vehicle manufacturers including BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volkswagen.

Skyworks makes not only power amplifiers, front-end modules and direct conversion radios (for multimedia handsets) but also linear products. The firm launched its linear products business to leverage its core RF and analog product portfolio and modeling capabilities, along with its catalog sales channels and specialized rep and distributor networks, in non-handset applications. So far, Skyworks has secured several strategic design wins in the cellular infrastructure, broadband, medical and industrial markets.

The automotive sector offers a range of new growth opportunities for semiconductor companies, as cars utilize wireless technology for keyless entry, Bluetooth capability, global positioning system (GPS), satellite radios, climate control, sensors and other applications, says Skyworks.

“Automotive represents a core end-market for analog and mixed-signal semiconductor companies and suppliers of discrete semiconductor components, among others,” according to the ‘Semiconductor Handbook’ research report published by Lehman Brothers in June.

Given that ISO/TS 16949 is a key differentiating standard among customers across a wide range of industries, achieving certification also creates opportunities in markets such as broadband, consumer electronics, meter reading, and RFID, the firm reckons.

The audit process involved design, manufacturing, design validation, final test, packing and shipping. Skyworks’ facilities accredited under ISO/TS16949 include: its fabrication plant in Woburn, MA for the production of 4-inch GaAs pHEMT and MESFET wafers as well as silicon wafers for switches, control devices and amplifiers, and discrete RF diodes; its plant in Mexicali, Mexico for final test and tape & reel for modules, RF chip-scale and fine-pitch ball grid array (FPBGA) packages, as well as RF, analog and systems test; and its failure analysis (FA)/reliability lab in Newbury Park, CA, USA.

“The stringent certification now positions us well with multiple German, Italian, American and French automotive customers and gives us the opportunity to significantly expand our Linear Products business,” says Nien-Tsu Shen, VP of quality.

See related items:

Skyworks grows profit, driven by linear product launches and 3G ramps

RFMD and Skyworks gain share in handset PAs: further consolidation likely

Skyworks revenues hit by Motorola slump, but income still triples year-on-year