In recent years we made a couple of merger and acquisition deals in rapid succession. In March 2012, Murata purchased the PA business of Renesas Electronics Corporation. Most of the PAs Murata had commercialized before were for Wi-Fi®, and so we wanted cellular PAs that could be used in smartphones and feature phones. We chose to purchase such technology after discussing that it was better to incorporate advanced technology owned by a competitor than to try to develop our current technology further.
In December 2014 Murata also completed the purchase of U.S.-based Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. Peregrine owns cutting-edge technology for RF switches, components mounted around the smartphone antenna. It had been doing a lot of business with Murata, posting some 70% of net sales from its transactions with us. The Peregrine purchase, costing us some 49 billion yen, was one of the biggest deals of its kind in Murata history.
Peregrine has a unique RF switch technology based on CMOS. CMOS was believed to be unable to deliver characteristics for RF communication. However, the U.S. company uses it to achieve excellent characteristics. Murata has worked with them for more than a decade, and we understand the advantage of their technology.
Exchanging electric waves using a smartphone requires three kinds of key components around the antenna: switches select either among signals in several FDD (frequency division duplex) frequency bands to establish connection with the desired duplexer or between transmitted and received signals by TDD (time division duplex) to connect them to the transmission and reception circuits; PAs are used to amplify signals; and SAW filters extract from electric waves only the signals having the target frequency. Murata has SAW filters that are said to win the highest market share. By adding Renesas PAs and Peregrine RF switches Murata now has all three component groups within its Group. This allows us to design and develop the key devices comprising the smartphone RF circuit internally and ensure integrated production and delivery. It in turn allows us to strengthen our product portfolio further so we can meet customer requests quickly. What’s more, if we produce devices in-house and modularize them, we will be able to keep ourselves updated on technological trends. These purchases give us a great advantage.