Nieke Roos
27 February

The passing of founder John Ocampo also means the demise of Gallium Semiconductor and its European R&D center in Nijmegen.

Following the death of founder John Ocampo, Gallium Semiconductor is shutting down. Gaas Labs, Ocampo’s private equity fund, has decided to stop investing in the Singapore-based supplier of RF GaN semiconductor solutions. It also means the end for the European R&D center in Nijmegen, which opened its doors only two years ago. The news is confirmed by local management. “John Ocampo, our founder, passed away end of last year and Gaas Labs has decided that it will no longer continue to fund Gallium Semiconductor. Therefore, we’ll wind down the company and all employees will be released.”

Gallium Semiconductor GTH2e
Credit: Gallium Semiconductor

Gallium Semiconductor was established in 2021 by Gaas Labs, the investment firm of John Ocampo and his wife Susan. Having obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University, John learned the ropes at various RF and microwave companies in the Bay Area. In 1984, he and his wife decided to start a business of their own, which eventually became Sirenza Microdevices. At this supplier of RF semiconductors and components for the communications, aerospace and defense markets, John had several executive roles, including president and CEO, CTO and chairman, while Susan served as CFO for fifteen years and treasurer until the company’s eventual sale to RF Micro Devices (now Qorvo) in 2007.

Using the proceeds from the sale, the Ocampos started Gaas Labs in 2008, focusing on providing the financing and operational expertise necessary to help grow companies that address the communications semiconductor market with high-performance RF, microwave and optical products. A year later, the private equity fund acquired Macom, the American developer and producer of radio, microwave and mm-wave semiconductor devices and components for telecom, industrial and defense applications. Subsequent investments included Mimix Broadband, a fabless supplier of high-performance GaAs semiconductors, and GaN-on-Si RF power transistor maker Nitronex, both of which went on to be added to the Macom portfolio.

With the acquisition of Macom, John Ocampo stepped in and served as the company’s director and chairman of the board until his passing last November. Sadly, his death now also means the demise of Gallium Semiconductor.

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