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NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced the grand opening of its 150 mm (6-inch) RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) fab in Chandler, Arizona, the most advanced fab dedicated to 5G RF power amplifiers in the United States. The new internal factory combines NXP’s expertise as the industry leader in RF power and its high-volume manufacturing know-how, resulting in streamlined innovation that supports the expansion of 5G base stations and advanced communication infrastructure in the industrial, aerospace and defense markets.
The opening ceremony was marked by keynote addresses and remarks by NXP executives plus federal, state and local government officials, including:
- Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally
- U.S. Representative Greg Stanton
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
- City of Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke
- U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Joseph Semsar
- Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States Andre Haspels
In his keynote address, Kurt Sievers, NXP CEO said: “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.”
Gallium Nitride: The new gold standard for 5G
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 have emerged as the new gold standard to address these dueling requirements, delivering significant improvements in both power density and efficiency.
Nearly 20 years of GaN development expertise and extensive wireless communication industry knowledge uniquely position NXP to lead this next wave of cellular expansion for 5G. The company has deeply optimized its GaN technology to improve the electron trapping in the semiconductor to deliver high efficiency and gain with best-in-class linearity, all of which is focused on serving NXP customers with the highest quality GaN device production.
Joakim Sorelius, Head of Development Unit Networks at Ericsson, a longstanding NXP customer, commented: “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."
State-of-the-art fab draws on NXP’s early GaN innovation and total quality mindset
NXP’s strategic move to build an internal GaN fab was driven by its ability to achieve higher performance benefits through leveraging its core competency in cellular infrastructure design, proven track record for high-volume manufacturing and consistency and leadership in total quality processes.
“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 fab is set to ramp quickly with NXP leveraging its Chandler-based team and their long-standing expertise in compound semiconductor manufacturing. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey added: “With this new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chandler, Arizona is set to expand its reputation as a high-tech manufacturing hub and a pioneer in 5G innovation. We’re grateful to NXP for bringing more jobs and investment to our state.”
The internal factory will serve as an innovation hub that facilitates collaboration between the fab and NXP’s onsite R&D team. NXP engineers can now more rapidly develop, validate and protect inventions for current and future generations of GaN devices, resulting in shorter cycle times for NXP GaN innovations.