Fujitsu has designs on gallium arsenide

Fujitsu has designs on gallium arsenide
Steve Bush Fujitsu has officially opened a gallium arsenide monolithic microwave integrated circuit (GaAs MMIC) design centre in Maidenhead. “This centre will be designing MMICs for mobile and cordless phones, basestations and what we call multimedia applications, which include satellite-based Internet-in-the-sky terminals,” said Dr Tom Cantle who will head MMIC design in the UK. “We already have a design centre with our production site in Japan and a 12-engineer team in the US, but these do not have any spare capacity. Having a site in the UK give local European telecoms companies better access to Fujitsu. The UK centre has been operating in a low key manner since last year. “We hired somebody on a trial basis in December and our first product is a 2W output driver for UHF, L-band and S-band base stations which is currently being evaluated.” said Cantle. The UK team now consists of three UK people with one off-site in Italy. “We are already thinking about further expanding, by taking on some more people or sub-contracting to another MMIC design house. News of our existence has sparked a lot of interest,” said Cantle. Fujitsu currently ships up to ten million GaAs MMICs a month from Japan and, claims Cantle, has half the world Direct Broadcast Satellite set-top box market and a large slice of the mobile phone transmitter chip market. Although Fujitsu has six different MMIC processes Cantle’s group will only be designing with one initially – GaAs FETs, adding a HEMT process soon after.


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