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4 October 2007


TriQuint ships 5 millionth Quantum module to ZTE for Vodafone’s ultra-low-cost handsets

RF front-end IC maker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, CA, USA says that, in the six months since April, it has shipped 5 million integrated Quantum Tx modules to ZTE Corp, one of China’s leading handset original design manufacturers (ODM), for use in Vodafone’s ultra low-cost GSM/GPRS handsets, a market that is seeing explosive growth.

The TQM6M4028E Quantum Tx module covers both GSM900 and DCS phone bands for the European and Asian markets. It includes two power amplifier ICs, two low-pass filters, a CMOS controller, and a single-pole four-throw RF switch in a 6mm by 6 mm package, making it one of the smallest transmit modules available, TriQuint claims. The integrated CMOS power controller and the high efficiency of the two power amplifier ICs contribute to increased phone talk times. The module also accepts a variety of battery and power supply configurations.

Vodafone models 125 and 225, designed and manufactured by ZTE, are specifically targeted at markets where simple wireless phones can provide an affordable means for citizens to become connected, often for the first time. Vodafone Egypt, Vodafone Romania and Vodacom (South Africa’s leading cellular network) were the first countries to launch the models. The global market for such ultra-low-cost handsets should grow to more than 330 million units in 2011 (one in every four mobile handsets shipped worldwide), estimates ABI Research in its report ‘Ultra Low-Cost Handsets’.

“The market is evolving in multiple directions and our global handset strategy serves the continuum of needs,” says Tim Dunn, VP for Handsets. “We are seeing exceptionally strong growth in Tx [transmit] module sales across all sectors, including the rapidly growing ultra-low-cost market, where cost-effective integration is vital,” he adds.

“Our work with TriQuint as our supply partner represents a big breakthrough in the market. TriQuint’s easy-to-use Tx module has given ZTE an opportunity to demonstrate its capabilities in product design, production and management for Vodafone,” says Wang Yong Zhong, ZTE’s general manager of GSM Products, Handset BU.

Key to the phones’ reduced cost structure is the close harmonization of the Tx module and the integrated transceiver/base-band circuits, says TriQuint. The highly integrated Tx module brings six functions into a single package, minimizing external components in the phone’s RF circuit area. By eliminating RF circuit design effort between the power amplifier and the antenna switch, the complete phone design contains less than five key components, enabling faster design-to-market cycle time, TriQuint claims. The combination offers ZTE handset cost and size reductions, while contributing to higher reliability.

“We will continue to develop products that meet the demands of the ultra-low-cost consumer handset sector,” says Berry Leonard, TriQuint’s product marketing manager of GSM and EDGE products. “Meeting the aggressive requirements of this growing market is a significant milestone.”

See related items:

TriQuint to debut transmit and PA-duplexer modules at GSM World Congress

TriQuint unveils new RF front-end module families and ‘Global Handset Strategy’

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