GARDEN GROVE, Calif.-- Microsemi Corp. today announced it will invest $75-to-$100 million in a major expansion of an 4-inch wafer fab here to increase production of compound semiconductors for power management, radio-frequency, microwave, and optoelectronics applications.
The fab, operated by Microsemi's Linfinity Microelectronics unit, will use the expansion to boost production of devices with gallium-arsenide (GaAs), indium gallium phosphide (InGaP), heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBT), InGaAs, and other materials and processes, said the company. Microsemi, based in Santa Ana, Calif., said those products will serve mobile connectivity and Internet infrastructure applications.
Microsemi is planning to roll out a big wave of products that address the convergence of smart power management and advanced RF power amplifier and optoelectronics circuits, said Jim Peterson, vice president of Microsemi's Power Management business unit. "We believe that power management and RF circuits must coexist in next-generation handheld Internet appliances," he said.
The expansion will increase the fab's capacity by 50% from the current volume of 2,800 four-inch wafer per week.
"Our proposed high-volume, 4-inch gallium-arsenide fab will be able to compete favorably with 6-inch fabs that are costing competitors over $100 million to put in place," said Manuel Lynch, director of worldwide marketing and new business development.
In March 2000, Microsemi acquired the HBT Products and Process Group from Los Angeles-based Infinesse Corp. (see March 1 story). Microsemi today said the acquired process expertise will be essential to meeting its goal of setting up a high-volume GaAs fab to support RF integrated circuits, such as gain-blocks, low noise amplifiers and power amplifiers for CDMA, W-CDMA, GSM and ISM Bands for wireless LAN applications.