NXP opens Gallium Nitride Fab in Arizona

NXP opens Gallium Nitride Fab in Arizona

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

NXP has opened its 150 mm (6-inch) RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Arizona.

The plant combines NXP’s expertise in RF power and high-volume manufacturing expertise for 5G base stations and advanced communication infrastructure in the industrial, aerospace and defence markets. This comes after years of following a ‘fab lite’ stragy with strong foundry partnerships. The RF GaN technology is one area where the company has a signficant performance advantage.

“Today marks a critical milestone for NXP. By building this incredible facility and tapping key talent in Arizona, we are able to bring focus to GaN technology as part of driving the next generation of 5G base station infrastructure,” said Kurt Sievers, CEO of NXP.

With 5G, the density of RF solutions required per antenna has exponentially increased – yet maintaining the same box size and reducing power consumption is mandatory. GaN power transistors provide significant improvements in both power density and efficiency. NXP has been working on the technology for 20 years, optimizing its GaN technology to improve the electron trapping in the RF devices for higher efficiency and gain with best-in-class linearity.

“We strive to deliver industry leading products that provide maximum value to our customers, where power amplifiers play an important part of the radio technology. Similar to Ericsson’s recent US investments, we are pleased to see NXP’s investments in the U.S. semiconductor process development with the continuous focus on improving RF system performance for future high demanding radio networks,” said Joakim Sorelius, Head of Development Unit Networks at Ericsson.

“I am excited by the opening of our new facility in Chandler as it underscores NXP’s decades-long commitment to GaN and the communications infrastructure market,” said Paul Hart, Executive Vice President and GM of the Radio Power Group at NXP. “I would like to thank our customers for their collaboration throughout the years and the entire NXP team that has been instrumental in creating the world’s most advanced RF GaN fab, which is designed and ready to scale to 6G and beyond.”

The opening is a strategic move to build an internal GaN fab to boost performance but also to avoid politcal issues by having a US supply of devices.

NXP’s new Chandler-based GaN fab is qualified now, with initial products ramping in the market and expected to reach full capacity by the end of 2020.

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