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6 June 2013

Freescale’s RF business creates aerospace & defense-focused unit

Freescale Semiconductor of Austin, TX, USA, which provides RF power technology for cellular markets, has announced a major initiative focused on demonstrating how its new and existing commercial RF power and microwave RF devices can meet the requirements of the US aerospace and defense (A&D) market.

The firm plans to support a broad range of A&D applications with entirely new gallium nitride (GaN) RF power transistor products, as well as its proven portfolio of more than 400 LDMOS RF power transistor and gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) products. These products will be supported by a dedicated team focused exclusively on A&D markets and customers.

“Freescale has more than 60 years of RF power innovation and experience, and we look forward to extending our focus beyond our leading position in RF power transistors to growing A&D markets,” says Ritu Favre, senior VP & general manager of Freescale’s RF business. “A&D equipment manufacturers will benefit from Freescale’s long track record of working closely with customers to create cost-effective solutions that combine superb performance, proven reliability and extreme ruggedness.”

According to analyst firm ABI Research, global sales for RF power devices targeting the defense market (under 4GHz and above 4W output) will total $144m by 2018. “Freescale has been the market leader in RF power devices for wireless infrastructure for many years,” comments Lance Wilson, research director, RF Devices, at ABI Research. “That experience and expertise should serve them well as they branch out into other RF power market segments, including A&D.”

Freescale’s RF business (formerly part of Motorola’s Semiconductor Products Sector) has more than six decades of history and expertise in RF power transistor development, introducing its first device in 1952. Since then it has predominated in silicon-based LDMOS RF power transistors for wireless infrastructure, delivering more than 30 million annually. The firm maintains the RF power market’s only US-based LDMOS device fabrication facility, as well as in-house final manufacturing facilities. Its Airfast LDMOS products that have been ‘ruggedized’ for commercial applications are suited to A&D requirements, with the ability to operate into extreme load mismatches (VSWR) greater than 65:1 and enhanced protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD). The LDMOS devices span frequency ranges to more than 3GHz with RF power outputs up to 1250W.

In addition, Freescale’s GaAs MMIC devices cover applications to over 5GHz and include gain block amplifiers, power amplifiers (up to 4W), and low-noise amplifiers with noise figures as low as 0.35dB. Also, the firm’s first GaN RF power transistors are planned for availability in late 2013.

Freescale says that this experience and technology will be complemented by a team of RF experts dedicated to the A&D market, including technical and applications support. The RF A&D team is led by a senior member of Freescale’s technical staff who has more than 30 years of RF power transistor experience, from design engineering to executive management. He is joined by a former marketing director for Freescale’s RF power business, who has 40 years of experience in marketing, sales and distribution. The products will also be supported by a dedicated team of marketing, program management, applications, regulatory compliance and other professionals focused exclusively on A&D markets and customers.

New products purchased for use in A&D applications are planned for inclusion in the Freescale Longevity Program, with assured supply for 15 years.

Tags: Freescale


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