Qorvo has acquired Cavendish Kinetics. The RF powerhouse from Greensboro, North Carolina, has been a lead strategic investor in the San Jose-based RF MEMS specialist since 2015 (link in Dutch). Cavendish also has an R&D site in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, where its core technology was developed. The company’s team will continue to advance RF MEMS for applications across Qorvo’s product lines and transition into high-volume manufacturing for mobile devices and other markets. Financial details haven’t been disclosed.
RF microelectromechanical systems are used to tune both main and diversity smartphone antennas across low, mid and high bands. This results in stronger signals and faster data rates. RF MEMS maximize performance through outstanding Q-factor, improved linearity and extremely low insertion losses, offering great potential for improving 4G and 5G system performance. Cavendish is a leading provider of high-performance RF MEMS technology for antenna tuning applications, with smartphone giant Samsung as one of its big customers.
Eric Creviston, president of Qorvo Mobile Products said, “The addition of Cavendish Kinetics allows us to build on Qorvo’s market leadership in antenna tuning. Several of the world’s leading smartphone suppliers have validated significant improvements in antenna performance through lower losses and higher linearity delivered by Cavendish’s RF MEMS technology. Qorvo will build on the great work Cavendish has done by optimizing and scaling the technology and applying it to other applications like infrastructure and defense.”
Cavendish Kinetics was founded in 1994 by professor Charles Smith as a spin-off from the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory. It set up its first office in ’s-Hertogenbosch, with device and process development at the Institute for Microelectronics in Stuttgart, Germany, and pilot manufacturing at Cypress in San Jose. From 2001 to 2007, it was led by Dutch semiconductor veteran Mike Beunder. In the beginning, the company focused on developing micromechanical memory elements and integrating them into standard CMOS (link in Dutch). Later, it shifted its attention to RF tuning and switching and moved its HQ to Silicon Valley.