ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Agere Systems Inc. and RF Micro Devices Inc. today announced completion of a definitive agreement to cooperate in development and production of radio-frequency ICs for next-generation cell phones and other wireless devices. The agreement covers a $58 million investment by RF Micro Devices in Agere's wafer fab in Orlando during the next two years.
The final agreement comes about seven weeks after the two companies announced plans to cooperate in RF chip development and manufacturing (see May 17 story). As previously reported, the alliance will focus mostly on silicon-germanium (SiGe) processes for RF chips, and it expands an existing partnership between the two companies to bundle power amplifiers with other wireless ICs.
"This alliance provides us with the silicon manufacturing capacity we need to better serve our customers," said Jerry Neal, executive vice president of marketing and strategic development for RF Micro Devices. The Greensboro, N.C.-based company intends to use the new alliance to expand its RF portfolio beyond its main line of power amplifiers.
The partnership is also receiving local government help as well. "We are very eager to begin working with Agere immediately, and we look forward to commencing operations in Florida once final commitments from the city and state are in place," Neal said.
For Agere, the partnership gives the company a way to reduce its capital spending in the Orlando fab while increasing its use. The Allentown-based company announced a major cutback and restructuring of manufacturing operations last week, including the closing of an aging fab in Spain and new layoffs to eliminate 4,000 jobs (see June 29 story).
"Together, the two companies will work to accelerate the delivery of key semiconductors required for the deployment of next-generation wireless multimedia services on public and private networks, and lower the overall cost of complete wireless component solutions to our customers," said Greg Waters, vice president of the Wireless Business Unit at Agere.