Seeking to strengthen its presence in wireless communications, Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. has purchased the commercial unit of the RF Components Division of the Raytheon Company, Lexington, Mass., for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition enables the South Portland, Maine, semiconductor supplier to enter the advanced RF market for applications involving wireless LANs and handset power amplifiers. The agreement also adds gallium arsenide millimeter wave integrated circuits (GaAs MMICs) to Fairchild's portfolio of high performance building block components that power multiple end market products. The business will report to Fairchild's Power Discrete Group, led by Izak Bencuya, executive vice president and general manager.
Fairchild and Raytheon are no strangers to one another. Fairchild purchased the Electronics Semiconductor business of Raytheon in November 1997 for $120 million, adding capability in analog and mixed-signal semiconductors.
"The addition of RF power amplifiers to our current power product offering strengthens Fairchild's presence in the wireless communications market, while enabling expanded design opportunities in wireless LANs and handsets," said Bencuya in a statement. "The total market size for gallium arsenide power amps is projected by Strategy Analytics to grow to between $770 million and $1.2 billion by 2006, with a compound annual growth rate of 16%. We expect this business should ramp to revenues of more than $5 million per quarter towards the latter half of 2004."
Fairchild also acquired Raytheon's foundry partnership agreement for the supply of GaAs wafers and an equity stake in WIN Semiconductor, as well as access to foundry and support services at Raytheon's Andover, Mass., facility. As part of the asset purchase agreement and transfer of IP, over 30 Raytheon designers, test engineers and business development employees will join Fairchild.
Russ Wagner, former Raytheon RF Components vice president of Business Development, will lead the group.