NEW YORK – Anadigics is on a roll. So is its CEO, Mario Rivas.
Anadigics, a supplier of radio frequency ICs, has been riding the momentum in the 3G and 4G wireless market. “We are growing at a rate of 50 percent year-on-year,” Rivas said during a recent interview with EE Times. “That’s not too bad when our competitors like Skyworks and TriQuint are growing at a rate of 30 percent and RF Micro Devices at 10 percent.”
In the last three months, Anadigics has continued its roll with big design wins for its power amplifier products. Known as “High-Efficiency-at-Low-Power” (HELP) portfolio, the company’s power amplifiers are now used in LG Electronics’ 4G USB wireless modems (for Verizon Wireless); and Samsung’s 3G Galaxy Tab (one model for Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the US; another model for the Korean market).
OEMs are picking Anadigics’ power amplifiers to boost performance and reliability in their own wireless devices, he said.
During its last quarter, Anadigics, also saw record shipments to RIM for the Bold 9650 and installs in 3G Pearl phones, according to the company. Besides Samsung’s Galaxy S Epic 4G and Galaxy Tabs, Anadigics secured multiple Android design wins at ZTE, Huawei and LG.
Design wins like these are especially sweet for Anadigics. It was only two years ago when the company got into big trouble by failing to deliver its chips in time in volume to customers. That product shortage happened before Rivas joined Anadigics in February 2009. Looking back, Rivas said, “We were the victim of our own success.” But he added, “Once something like that happens, it’s not easy to ask customers to come back and put their business back into our hands.”
Mario Rivas, CEO at Anadigics
Rivas may have walked into Anadigics at the right time.
As a veteran executive in the chip industry, Rivas, 56, has seen plenty of semiconductor cycles and has lived through tough times both professionally and personally.
Rivas also knows a thing or two about the hard knocks on life. Born and educated in El Salvador, Rivas started his engineering career at Texas Instruments in the United States – almost accidentally. As Rivas tells it, he had fully intended to return to his home country with his Master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). But the Salvadoran civil war broke out in the late 1970s, and his mother strongly advised him not to return.
After working briefly at TI, Rivas joined Motorola. He was there 19 years, moving quickly up the ladder within the organization.
Unlike those who grew up in Silicon Valley, Rivas’ career has been very diverse. It includes his stint in Motorola’s Tokyo office; a period as executive vice president of communications business at Philips Semiconductors (now NXP Semiconductors, Eindhoven, Netherlands). He next served as executive vice president of AMD’s Computing Products Group in Texas. Rivas joined AMD in late 2006, but was there for less than two years. He left the company after AMD’s first quad-core Opteron server chip fiasco hit the company hard in late 2007. (AMD found glitches in the server chip after its rollout, resulting in a serious disruption of its distribution.)
At every turn of events, though, Rivas has remained open, straightforward, amiable and optimistic.