Headquartered in Irvine, California, RFaxis, Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company specializing in the design and development of RF integrated circuits and embedded antenna solutions for wireless connectivity and mobility applications. The company was founded on a mission to provide better alternative solutions to long-standing range, receive sensitivity, data throughput and reliability problems suffered by users of a broad range of consumer and commercial electronics wireless products including wireless LAN (WAN), cellular handsets/smartphones, tablet/notebook/netbook PCs, “smart” energy devices, home automation, headsets, remote controllers, access points/gateways, LTE/WiFi router devices, Consumer Premise Equipment (“CPE”), and various other wireless products.
RFaxis was founded by CEO Mike Neshat and CTO Dr. Oleksandr Gorbachov in 2007, and incorporated in January 2008. The company has brought together a team of highly talented RF design and application engineers to solve the most critical and challenging RF front-end related problems for wireless communications. Over the past few years, RFaxis has done a pioneering work in developing the industry’s first fully integrated, single-chip/single-die, silicon-based Radio Frequency Front-end Integrated Circuit (RFeIC), which represents a major departure from all commonly-adopted, conventional approaches of designing the RF front-end portion of a typical wireless communications system.
RF front-end circuits play a critical role in maximizing the range and throughput of modern high-speed wireless communication systems such as WLAN, ZigBee, Bluetooth, WHDI, WiMAX, and 3G/LTE/4G cellular handsets. The RF front-end is typically comprised of a high-linearity, high-efficiency power amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (LNA), transmit/receive (Tx/Rx) switches and other associated RF circuitry. To satisfy stringent design requirements on transmit power level, linearity, and receive sensitivity, the majority of RF front-end solutions on the market today are based on GaAs (Gallium Arsenide) HBT (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor) and/or HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor) technology, or even more costly hybrid processes, in combination with passive components, in the form of multi-chip modules (MCMs). As wireless applications continue their exponential path of proliferation, there has been relentless pressure on cost and footprint reduction, rendering the hybrid front-end module (FEM) approaches less attractive for many applications.
With over 30 patents filed, four of which already granted in early 2012, RFaxis has invented disruptive RF architecture platforms, design methodologies and trade secrets that have enabled the company to integrate onto a single die an entire RF Front-end Integrated Circuit, or RFeIC, designed to meet the performance and economic requirements of major OEMs and ODMs, and also enable these wireless product makers to accelerate their RF design cycle while eliminating the challenges and cost of stitching together many external components. While its patents and architecture platforms are process/material agnostic, RFaxis has transformed the RF Front-end business into a higher-margin industry sector by commercializing its RFeICs using pure CMOS silicon process and standard packaging, and has demonstrated the versatility of its architecture by manufacturing its RFeICs in several major foundries including TSMC, and GSMC in Shanghai, China.
RFaxis has developed strong customer relationships with 30+ OEM/ODMs and with distributors in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, North America and EMEA. Selected customers include MediaTek/Ralink, Gemtek/Ampak, Alfaplus and Cameo in Taiwan, SCI, Beken, B-LINK and MTN Networks in China, Modacom, Infomark, F1 Media and WiSOL in Korea, AirMicro and Hosiden in Japan, and NXP, Freescale, Atmel and Nordic in North America and EMEA. Most recently, RFaxis announced a key reference design-win with SCI (Smart Chip Integration), China’s first home-grown WLAN chipset vendor that has obtained WiFi Alliance certification for its SWM9001 WLAN module using RFaxis’ RFX2402C single-chip 2.4GHz WLAN RFeIC. RFaxis is also in close partnership with several Tier-One cellular handset and wireless module vendors to develop WiFi/Bluetooth combo front-end ICs for smartphones.
RFaxis’ brisk business today is energized by a “perfect storm” in the wireless and cellular ecosystems. The company would never have been able to experience this perfect storm without the vision and perseverance of its founder Mike Neshat. Back in 2008, RFaxis was incorporated amidst one of the most severe global business downturns in history. It was a time when almost every company in the world was either downsizing or going out of business. There were major doubts amongst everyone whether a new startup such as RFaxis could survive and succeed. Many experts in the RF field did not believe RFaxis could ever deliver a fully integrated single-chip/single-die RF Frond-End. Against all odds, RFaxis started first production of its RFeICs in mid 2010, and shipped the four-millionth chip in January 1012 at its four-year anniversary. The company is currently in ramp-up mode for its second-generation, pure-CMOS based RFeIC products.
For its pioneering work in bringing fresh ideas and major innovations to the global wireless and RF community, RFaxis has received several major awards since its inception, including 2010 EE Times ACE Award for “Start-up of the Year”, EE Times “Silicon 60”, 2011 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award, and TechAmerica 18th Annual OC High-Tech Innovation Award. The company currently has 27 employees, with sales offices in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and Shenzhen, China. The company is privately held and funded by its founders and private investors.