US chip maker RF Micro plans to double the assembly capabilities of its facility in Beijing, through a major expansion.
RF Micro, which makes the specialised chips needed handle radio signals in mobile phones and the like, said the expanded capacity is needed to support RF Micro's new Polaris 3 radio frequency chip. The principal advantage of the Polaris 3 is it eliminates the need for handset designers to fit metal shielding in mobile phones, so reducing the volume required for RF components by by up to 50%.
RF Micro has applied for a a patent on this “self-shielding” technology and its revealing that the company plans to roll it out in China. Given the country's lax reputation for IP protection, I imagine RF Micro will take particular care to ensure the secrets of the self-shielding technology do not “leak out”.
The Beijing expansion will encompass about 200,000 sq feet and will allow for streamlined operations and the incorporation of new technologies. It expects the increased capacity to be online by November.