Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland, ME), a name long synonymous with the history of semiconductors, has boldly entered the wireless marketplace through its acquisition of the RF Components Division Commercial Business Unit of Raytheon Co. (Andover, MA). Fairchild, a leader in power and interface devices and integrated circuits (ICs), immediately adds capabilities in cellular and wireless-local-area-network (WLAN) devices and ICs. The purchase agreement also adds GaAs millimeter-wave ICs to Fairchild's product mix. The former Raytheon business unit, which will be led by Russ Wagner, previously Raytheon RF Components Vice-President of Business Development, will report to Fairchild's Power Discrete Group, under Dr. Izak Bencuya, Vice-President and General Manager. As part of the acquisition, Fairchild also takes on Raytheon's foundry partnership agreement for the supply of GaAs wafers and an equity stake in WIN Semiconductor, as well as access to foundry and support services at Raytheon's Andover, MA facility. As part of the asset purchase agreement and transfer of intellectual property, more than 30 Raytheon design engineers, test engineers, and business development employees will join Fairchild. Both sides are enthusiastic about the acquisition, according to Bencuya, "the addition of RF power amplifiers to our current power product offering strengthens Fairchild's presence in the wireless communications markets, while enabling expanded design opportunities in the areas of WLANs and handsets." Wagner acknowledged the synergy between the two groups: "This acquisition strategically aligns the global, commercial capabilities of power components industry leader Fairchild Semiconductor with the RF Components Division. We look forward to leveraging new opportunities in product development and customer support as part of Fairchild's Power Discrete Group." Fairchild employs 10,000 employees worldwide, while Raytheon Co. employs more than 76,000 people worldwide.

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