Mitel sends RF team on US duty

Mitel sends RF team on US duty
Richard Ball Mitel Semiconductor has sold its RF multichip module and thin film team to Intarsia, a US firm specialising in integrating passive components. Based in Swindon, the six person-strong team designs substrates for functions such as RF filters, VCOs and radio interfaces. Circuit elements such as inductors, capacitors, resistors and transformers are formed on a substrate to which active components are added to make the required function. The technology was originally developed by GEC Plessey Semiconductors, bought by Mitel Semiconductor last year. “When Mitel came on board, they decided this was not core to their silicon chip business,” said John McNicol, Intarsia’s new European marketing director. Intarsia was already working on thin film devices, but wanted a presence in Europe, McNicol said. More use of such technology is hindered by a lack of cheap manufacturing facilities. Intarsia has a liquid crystal display flat panel facility that will address the problem. “Production in the flat panel factory is much cheaper than in a fab as Mitel did it,” said McNicol. Production of thin film passive substrates does not require the expensive equipment used in a fab. Each panel is 35 x 40cm, giving at least ten times the number of components as Mitel’s six inch wafers. Intarsia also has the ability to mount substrates and active components in chip scale packages. “Doing this in-house is a lot cheaper,” said McNicol.


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