Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: PSMI), a fabless provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), yesterday announced plans to collaborate with Murata Manufacturing Company on a multisource arrangement for RF switches and other components based on Peregrine’s proprietary UltraCMOS technology. Under the proposed collaboration agreement, Murata would be granted a license to design and manufacture RF switches and other switch-related components utilizing Peregrine’s technology and intellectual property (IP). The parties expect this agreement to result in an expanded source of supply for these critical RF components, and to assure global OEMs broad access to RF CMOS products.
The UltraCMOS process is a patented Silicon-on-Sapphire technology (SOS). The UltraCMOS process is the industry’s first and only commercially qualified use of Ultra-Thin-Silicon (UTSi) on sapphire substrates, enabling the combination of high-performance RF, mixed-signal, passive elements, nonvolatile memory and digital functions on a single device. This integration provides significant performance advantages over other mixed-signal processes such as GaAs, SiGe, BiCMOS and bulk silicon CMOS in applications where RF performance, low power and integration are paramount.
Murata is a supplier of RF front-end modules for the global mobile wireless marketplace. RF front-end modules are products that incorporate RF switches and tuning devices with SAW filters, passive components, and advanced packaging techniques.
“Global OEM customers of both Peregrine and Murata have for some time requested that the companies implement an independent source of supply for the critical switching elements that are widely utilized in today’s smart phones and other wireless-communications products,” said Jim Cable, Peregrine’s President and CEO. “This agreement marks the first license of Peregrine’s core switch-based intellectual property to a third party and we look forward to entering into this collaborative arrangement with Murata.”
Regarding yesterday’s announcement, Norio Nakajima, Murata’s Vice President, Communication Business Unit, said, “Peregrine has fundamental IP in CMOS-based switches and tuning products with its UltraCMOS technology. This IP licensing arrangement solidifies our existing relationship and future collaboration with Peregrine. We believe that the combination of Murata’s filter and packaging technology with Peregrine’s UltraCMOS switch and tuning technology is a formidable RF front-end solution.”