“Our roadmap leads us to having our own handset module,” said Hilbert. Up to now the company has focused entirely on the front end, making dynamically programmable RF devices using integrated RF CMOS and RF MEMS.
“Tunable front ends are the last missing piece in software defined radio,” said Hilbert, “tunable RF improves connectivity, cost, connectivity, performance, size weight and component count.”
The ‘Thin is in’ trend in handsets is giving RF designers a headache. “Having screens taking the whole of the front of the phone is nice for users but a nightmare for RF designers,” said Hilbert, “bearing in mind that touch-screens have a metal plate behind them, where do you put the antenna?”
WiSpry reckons it has a $1.5-$3 opportunity per smartphone and that smartphone units will shoot up from 700m a year now to 2.8bn in 2020.
The ten year old WiSpry started shipping in volume last October to a Tier One customer. It uses IBM for fab where it has a multi-million a month unit capacity on a 0.18 micron RF-CMOS eight in line. It is conveniently located in Irvine.