Demand is increasing for integrated passive devices, as evidenced by a 70% jump in the shipment of IPDs by California Micro Devices Corp. in 1998 compared with 1997.
CMD's IPDs are multifunction circuits that integrate numerous passive elements, including resistors, capacitors, inductors, and diodes. This integration provides customers with system space savings, reduced manufacturing costs, and improved reliability and performance, according to the Milpitas, Calif.-based company.
"Hitting the billion mark in 1998 represents a 70% increase over calendar year 1997 and a 127% increase over calendar year 1996," said Jeffrey Kalb, president and chief executive of CMD. "If you do the math, you can see that our customers have sped up their rate of adoption for IPDs from 33% during 1996 and 1997 to 70% during 1997 and 1998. This is consistent with other industry data we see showing a move to higher levels of passive integration."
Up until the last few years, attention was focused primarily on small-scale resistor arrays, Kalb said. Today, customers are demanding IPDs with the highest level of integration available, he said. "For example, a typical passive network of the late 1980s contained less than 10 passive elements. By middle 1990, this rose into the high teens to the low 20s. Today, CMD's Super 1284 contains 77 passive elements in a single package."
Despite the dramatic increase in IPD shipments, CMD's revenue from the devices grew only slightly in 1998 compared with the year before, ince the average price for a passive element has decreased dramatically, Kalb said. "This tremendous savings in the cost per element is passed on to our customers and is fueling the continued increase in demand for IPDs," he said.
CMD reported a net loss of $626,000 on revenue of $8.5 million for its third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 1998, compared with a net loss of $885,000 on revenue of $7.9 million for the same period last year.
CMD makes integrated thin-film, silicon-based termination, filtering, and active electronic circuitry. Its products target computer, networking, and communications applications.