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












































3 November 2006


WJ reports sales up 57% year-on-year and plans to go fabless; launches first 28V InGaP HBTs for 3G

RFIC maker WJ Communications Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has reported third-quarter 2006 revenue of $12.7m, up 2% on the preceding quarter and 57% on a year ago. Gross margin was 55.7%, its highest in two years.

Net loss was cut from $3.4m a year ago and $1.5m in Q2 to $1.2m (which included $743,000 of stock compensation expenses). EBITDA loss was cut from $2.9m a year ago and $893,000 in Q2 to $48,000.

"As a result of our successful qualification and production ramp [at foundry partner Global Communication Semiconductors Inc of Torrance, CA, USA], we have solidified a restructuring plan, resulting in the planned closure of our wafer manufacturing facility during the first quarter of 2007," says Bruce Diamond, president and CEO. "We expect to accrue restructuring costs of approximately $1.5m in the fourth quarter, which we expect to be substantially offset by a gain on the sale of equipment in the first half of 2007," he adds. "On an ongoing basis, we expect to realize future cost savings that will range from $1m to $1.25m per quarter, or $4m to $5m on an annualized basis."

For the nine months to end-October, revenue was $37.5m, up 88% on a year previously. Gross margin rose from $8.9m to $20.1m. Net loss was cut from $18.9m to $5.4m. Cash reserves are $27.0m.

* First 28V InGaP HBT power amplifier for 3G base-stations

WJ Communications has launched a new family of next-generation high-efficiency RF power amplifier modules, using what it says is the industry's first 28V InGaP HBT process technology, that achieves high performance and outstanding linearity across the 800-2200 MHz frequency range. The AP601, AP602, and AP603 enable a reduction in power consumption while maintaining high performance. Applications include wireless infrastructure equipment such as cellular base-stations, power amplifier boards and repeaters.

WJ says it has developed the AP60x range to fill a void in the market place for driver stage power amplifiers that offer a high level of linearity and efficiency while operating from a 28V supply (usable over the 24-32V supply range). They operate off the same voltage supply as final-stage power
amplifier, reducing component count: no switching regulators and supporting components are needed, reducing costs and PCB space.

Features that provide greater flexibility for designers include adjustable quiescent bias (which enables configuration for better linearity, higher efficiency or a combination of the two) and integrated active bias circuitry
(competing LDMOS solutions require external bias circuitry, which increases costs and PCB space, says WJ). Also, the use of 50 Ohm input and output impedance traces simplifies PCB layout: LDMOS solutions have complex input and output impedance traces that make it difficult and time consuming to optimize system performance.

The AP60x is suited to the demanding requirements of 3G protocols such as WCDMA, CDMA2000 and TDS-CDMA, which require a high level of performance, especially for linearity. The AP60x range¹s linearity improves rapidly below - 50dBc as power is backed-off. The range serves the 1-10W driver stage, which has long been neglected, says WJ. The 5x6mm 14-lead DFN plastic package enables the use of standard surface mount technology for placement on the printed circuit board (PCB), significantly lowering total cost. Higher efficiencies and thus lower operating currents result in less heat dissipation, so heat sinks or cut-outs on the PCB are not needed, eliminating manual assembly work.