GREENSBORO, N.C.--RF Micro Devices Inc. today announced its first major order for radio-frequency ICs from a cellular phone maker in China. Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co. Ltd. plans to use RF Micro Devices' RF2138 and RF2140 power amplifiers in new dual-band GSM cellular handsets for domestic markets, the U.S. chip supplier reported.
According to RF Micro Devices, Xiamen said it expects to make one million of these handsets next year. Fourteen-year-old Xiamen initially made televisions for the Chinese market, and it entered into the cellular phone business last year, offering a single-band handset using the Global System for Mobile (GSM) format.
"Xiamen is a well-known brand in China and should do well in connection with the Chinese government initiative that encourages the development of domestic handset products," said Jeffrey M. Nemeth, sales manager for the Asia Pacific region at RF Micro Devices.
The Greensboro company said telecom usage in China is climbing from 0.38% of the country's population to 8.11% in 1997. Urban telephone penetration went from just 1.9% in 1978 to 26.1% in 1997, according to RF Micro Devices. The heaviest concentration of phones in now in large cities, such as Shanghai (44.06%) and Beijing (38.48%).