RFMD® and U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory Announce Collaboration
RFMD and NREL to Commercialize High-Performance Photovoltaic Cells
GREENSBORO, N.C., July 1, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq:RFMD), a global
leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance semiconductor components, today announced it has entered
into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to
develop a commercially viable and high volume-capable compound semiconductor-based process for high-performance
photovoltaic (PV) cells.
Under the terms of a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA),
NREL's subject matter knowledge and innovation experience will be combined with RFMD's technical expertise in
volume manufacturing of high-performance, reliability-proven compound semiconductors at RFMD's wafer fabrication
facilities (fab), for the purpose of developing a production capable process technology for high-performance
photovoltaic (PV) cells. NREL has decades of research experience and expertise in PV cell technology, and RFMD is
a pioneer and industry leader in compound semiconductor manufacturing with a proven ability to commercialize new
The successful execution of the multi-year CRADA is expected to result in the production of
PV cells in RFMD's high-volume compound semiconductor fabs, as early as calendar year 2012, using technology that
is capable of best-in-class solar cell conversion efficiency. NREL's technology has demonstrated one of the
world's highest reported solar cell conversion efficiencies, at 40.8 percent, and continued substantial
improvements in efficiency are anticipated.
"Working with RFMD to commercialize PV cells will help us realize our laboratory's mission of developing and
commercializing advanced, next-generation energy technologies," said NREL Director Dan Arvizu.
Bruggeworth, president and CEO of RFMD, said, "We are very pleased to be collaborating with NREL to leverage our
wafer manufacturing expertise and cost structure to manufacture high-performance photovoltaic cells available in
high volumes, with high quality and reliability and at greatly reduced cost. RFMD's industry-leading wafer
fabrication capability and expertise in commercializing compound semiconductors, combined with NREL's technology
leadership and decades of research, uniquely position us to accelerate the commercialization of this
next-generation technology. We expect our expertise and scale will positively impact the market for concentrated
photovoltaic cells, and we are proud to support our national efforts related to clean energy."
CRADA, technical representatives from both RFMD and NREL will collaborate at NREL and in RFMD's facilities in
Greensboro, North Carolina. The CRADA will be accomplished in three phases.
* A foundation phase that will
establish the capability to manufacture basic PV cells at RFMD's manufacturing facilities;
* A technology
demonstration phase during which PV cells using NREL's technology will be fabricated at RFMD's manufacturing
* A production readiness phase during which the manufacturing of high performance PV cells
with high yields, high reliability, high reproducibility and low cost at RFMD's fabs will be established.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy
efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. For
more information visit www.nrel.gov.
RF Micro Devices, Inc. (Nasdaq GS: RFMD) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance
semiconductor components. RFMD's products enable worldwide mobility, provide enhanced connectivity and support
advanced functionality in the cellular handset, wireless infrastructure, wireless local area network (WLAN),
CATV/broadband and aerospace and defense markets. RFMD is recognized for its diverse portfolio of semiconductor
technologies and RF systems expertise and is a preferred supplier to the world's leading mobile device, customer
premises and communications equipment providers.
Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., RFMD is an ISO 9001-
and ISO 14001-certified manufacturer with worldwide engineering, design, sales and service facilities. RFMD is
traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol RFMD. For more information, please visit RFMD's web
This press release includes "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives,
representations and contentions and are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as
"may," "will," "should," "could," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential,"
"continue" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. You should be
aware that the forward-looking statements included herein represent management's current judgment and
expectations, but our actual results, events and performance could differ materially from those expressed or
implied by forward-looking statements. We do not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements or
publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements, other than as is required
under the federal securities laws. RF Micro Devices' business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties,
including variability in quarterly operating results, the impact of global macroeconomic and credit conditions on
our business, the rate of growth and development of wireless markets, risks associated with our planned exit from
our wireless systems business, including cellular transceivers and GPS solutions, the risk that restructuring
charges may be greater than originally anticipated and that the cost savings and other benefits from the
restructuring may not be achieved, risks associated with the operation of our wafer fabrication facilities,
molecular beam epitaxy facility, assembly facility and test and tape and reel facilities, our ability to complete
acquisitions and integrate acquired companies, including the risk that we may not realize expected synergies from
our business combinations, our ability to attract and retain skilled personnel and develop leaders, variability in
production yields, our ability to reduce costs and improve gross margins by implementing innovative technologies,
our ability to bring new products to market, our ability to adjust production capacity in a timely fashion in
response to changes in demand for our products, dependence on a limited number of customers, and dependence on
third parties. These and other risks and uncertainties, which are described in more detail in RF Micro Devices'
most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could
cause actual results and developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any of these
VP, Investor Relations
or Jerry Neal
Executive Vice President
+1-336-678-7001, both of RFMD