RF Micro Devices Announces Formation of Compound Semiconductor Group

October 06, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD) announced a strategic initiative to extend RFMD’s industry position in compound semiconductor technologies into a broad array of adjacent non-RF growth markets. The strategic initiative includes the formation of a new business group, the Compound Semiconductor Group (CSG), which will operate alongside RFMD’s Cellular Products Group (CPG) and RFMD’s Multi-Market Products Group (MPG). RFMD forecasts the total available market (TAM) for non-RF applications addressed by CSG will exceed $1.5 billion in calendar 2015.

RFMD states that its Compound Semiconductor Group will create innovative new high-power and high-performance products utilizing the Company’s industry-leading gallium nitride (GaN) and gallium arsenide (GaAs) process technologies. The Compound Semiconductor Group will encompass RFMD’s Power Electronics product line as well as RFMD’s Foundry Services business unit. CSG will also include RFMD’s New Technology Commercialization Center (NTCC), with responsibility for new technology incubation, including RFMD’s cooperative research and development agreement with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) related to the commercialization of GaAs-based concentrated photovoltaic cells (CPV).

Bob Van Buskirk, currently President of RFMD’s Multi-Market Products Group, will lead RFMD’s Compound Semiconductor Group. Mr. Van Buskirk was previously Chief Executive Officer and President of Sirenza Microdevices, which was acquired by RFMD in November, 2007. Prior to Sirenza Microdevices, Mr. Van Buskirk held multiple senior level positions at Northrop Grumma (formerly TRW), including responsibility for commercializing their GaAs compound semiconductor technology and leading the development and growth of their compound semiconductor foundry business.

Norm Hilgendorf, currently Vice President of Corporate Development at RFMD, will become Corporate Vice President and President of RFMD’s Multi-Market Products Group. Mr. Hilgendorf joined RFMD in November, 2007, from Sirenza Microdevices, where he served most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Hilgendorf has many years of senior management experience, including sales and general management, in multi-market organizations and in the wide range of end markets served by MPG.

Bob Bruggeworth, President and CEO of RFMD, said, "Bob Van Buskirk is the ideal individual to lead RFMD’s Compound Semiconductor Group. Bob is a recognized industry veteran in compound semiconductor technologies and he has consistently led his organizations to outstanding growth. Similarly, Norm Hilgendorf will hit the ground running, given his exceptional operational background and personal involvement in the strategic planning and corporate development for our multi-market organization."

Mr. Bruggeworth continued, "The formation of RFMD’s Compound Semiconductor Group adds an incremental layer of new opportunities to energize our future growth without materially impacting operating expenses. In our advanced technology organizations we have been exploring strategic opportunities to exploit our world-class compound semiconductor expertise, and, with the formation of CSG, we have in place the leadership and organization to capture incremental, profitable revenue in high-growth non-RF markets."