To expand its reach into the wireless infrastructure market, RF semiconductor manufacturer and foundry service provider TriQuint Semiconductor has inked an acquisition deal with WJ Communications, Inc., a key supplier of RF modules to the wireless space, and a derivative of a well known industry name Watkins-Johnson Company.

Under the terms of the agreement, TriQuint will acquire by merger all outstanding shares of WJ Communications for $1.00 per share, implying a purchase price of approximately $72 million. According to TriQuint, the transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to close within 90 days, subject to an affirmative vote by WJ shareholders and other customary conditions.

Besides obtaining RF/microwave design expertise, the deal also provides TriQuint with a Silicon Valley based design center. And, in addition, accelerates the evolution to multi-function modules for infrastructure applications, as well as RFIDs. There are about 45 engineers in WJ’s design group with a staff of 172 worldwide. By comparison, TriQuint has over 2000 employees worldwide.

TriQuint has focused on bringing the technical innovation and cost savings it provides in the handset market to the evolving requirements of the communications infrastructure market. And this acquisition will enable TriQuint to combine RF power, switching and filtering in cost effective module solutions for base station and other infrastructure applications.

“We see great synergy with TriQuint in the areas of technology, customer relationships and manufacturing efficiencies. There is very little product overlap and a good cultural fit between our two organizations,” commented Bruce Diamond, CEO of WJ. “We bring a broad product line of RF building blocks and modules as well as a talented Silicon Valley based design team to an established leader in the RF market space.”

Through this acquisition, TriQuint expects to expand its presence in the wireless infrastructure market comprised of cellular base stations and wireless and cable broadband infrastructure. “WJ’s solid reputation in these market areas is a complement to TriQuint’s strengths in design, manufacturing and customer support,” said Ralph Quinsey, CEO of TriQuint. “WJ’s technical expertise combined with the financial strength and stability of TriQuint will provide both innovative products and security of supply to the networks infrastructure customer base.”

WJ has moved to a fabless model and will continue to source external foundry services, according to TriQuint. However, future designs will tap the company’s foundry capabilities. And is expected to become part of TriQuint’s network products group, added TriQuint.