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28 April 2014

Skyworks and Panasonic form 66:34 joint venture for high-performance filters

Analog semiconductor maker Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA has announced the creation of a joint venture with Japan’s Panasonic Corp, one of the world’s largest electronic product manufacturers, to design, develop and deliver high-performance filters, including surface acoustic wave (SAW) and temperature-compensated (TC) SAW devices.

At the core of the joint venture is Panasonic Filter Division’s engineering and process talent, expertise in filter design, and products, as well as 412 fundamental filter patents and patent applications.

“This new venture leverages the core strengths of both companies to better serve the high-volume filter market and positions us to substantially grow the business,” believes Shigeru Ono, director of Panasonics’ Circuit Components business division.

The insatiable demand for always-on connectivity and ever increasing user data demands have driven a proliferation of bands and the addition of 4G/LTE capabilities, says Skyworks. In fact, 3GPP now has more than 45 sanctioned bands. This is significantly increasing the demand for filters and especially for high-performance TC SAW filters that enable the dense packing of bands. The need for sensitivity and the increasing co-existence issues (due to simultaneous operation of GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular radios) necessitate the extremely high-quality filtering enabled by Panasonics technology, says Skyworks. Panasonic’s high-performance filter portfolio is said to offer advantages including: reduced size and weight; higher selectivity; excellent Q and low insertion loss; reliability and stability under harsh environments; lower distortion; and field-proven, high-volume production.

“Panasonic has a long heritage in SAW filter products and is the clear performance leader and largest volume producer of rapidly emerging TC SAW filters, with shipments already approaching a quarter of a billion units,” comments Skywork’s president & CEO David J. Aldrich. “Our joint venture structure capitalizes on Panasonic’s acoustic filtering and piezoelectric leadership while further augmenting Skyworks product breadth and integration capabilities,” he adds. “Together, we intend to deliver the worlds highest-performance, lowest-cost and shortest-cycletime solutions.

Skyworks’ joint venture with Panasonic is complementary to its strategic investments in high-frequency bulk acoustic filters. “As a result, we can now develop customized solutions for any band configuration where filter technology is applicable, spanning high-, mid- and low-band frequencies,” says Aldrich. “In short, Skyworks has covered the RF spectrum with best-in-class filter products, by targeted band, allowing us to offer differentiated architectures for the most demanding customer applications.”

At closing, Skyworks will hold 66% of the newly created entity, with Panasonic retaining 34%. The transaction encompasses the products, working capital, manufacturing equipment and intellectual property of Panasonics’ Filter Division. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan with design centers and operations at facilities in Japan and Singapore, the joint venture will comprise about 590 staff.

In exchange, Skyworks will make a cash payment of $148.5m to Panasonic for its share of the new venture. This investment is expected to be immediately accretive to Skyworks margins and earnings per share. Skyworks and Panasonic expect the transaction to close by the end of third-quarter 2014 (subject to customary closing conditions).

See related items:

Skyworks' reports above-target 13% year-on-year growth to $481m quarterly revenue

Tags: Skyworks

Visit: www.skyworksinc.com

Visit: http://panasonic.net

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