Interview with Greg Baker from Altum RF

  • Greg Baker - CEO, Altum RF

Altum RF was founded in 2019 to address RF, microwave and millimeter-wave applications using sate-of-the-art GaAs and GaN technologies. They design and develop a broad range of high-performance RF products for commercial and industrial applications. everything RF recently interviewed Greg Baker, CEO of Altum RF.

Q. Can you give us a brief history of Altum RF?

Greg Baker: Altum RF was founded in 2019 to address RF, microwave and millimeter-wave applications using state-of-the-art GaAs and GaN technologies. We primarily focus on applications above 10 GHz in the fields of satcom, aerospace and defense, test and measurement, and telecommunications such as 5G infrastructure and eBand point-to-point radio. We are committed to achieving and maintaining high quality standards and certifications to become a leading supplier in the RF and microwave industry.

Q. Can you tell us more about Altum RF's product portfolio and design capabilities?

Greg Baker: Altum RF designs and develops a broad range of high-performance RF products for commercial and industrial applications, with strategic roadmaps to rapidly expand our product portfolio. Using proven technologies such as leading-edge GaAs or GaN, we are able to deliver optimal products in terms of RF performance, level of integration and cost. Our catalog products include, power amplifiers, distributed amplifiers, LNA, driver amplifiers, high frequency switches, attenuators, and phase shifters.

Q. What technologies do you work with? Who are your foundry partners?

Greg Baker: We develop products using high-frequency GaAs and GaN technologies. Our foundry partners are located in Asia and Europe. 

Q. Do you develop catalog products or custom products?

Greg Baker: Our experienced RF and microwave MMIC design team primarily focuses product development efforts on standard and catalog products for applications greater than 10 GHz. Altum RF continues to expand our product offering to meet the needs of the market. We do also support custom designs and turn-key solutions, (e.g. design, manufacturing, industrial release-qualification and production testing).

Q. Do you have the catalog products in stock? Where can users buy these products?

Greg Baker: Yes. We offer certain evaluation boards through Digi-Key. You can check them out online here. We also continue to add regional sales representative and distribution partners from all over the world. Click here to view Altum RF sales reps and distributors.

Q. What is the typical design process/cycle for an IC that a customer wants to develop? What is the typical turnaround time for the development of a custom product? 

Greg Baker: For custom products, our process starts with a comprehensive evaluation to define the MMIC requirements with the customer. After we select the best-fit technology, the designers perform extensive simulation and complete a design review before tape-out. The typical design turnaround cycle for a MMIC depends on complexity, and can vary from 6 to 18 months.

Q. What market segments do you target and which segment drives the most business for you?

Greg Baker: Altum RF concentrates on the development of products for satcom, aerospace and defense, test and measurement, and telecommunications, such as 5G infrastructure and eBand point-to-point radio. We see clear trends with requirements for increased power, higher frequency, greater bandwidth, and further integration. Moving forward, we will also be developing products for 6G.

Q. What differentiates you from other fabless semiconductor companies in the RF Sector?

Greg Baker: We have a world-class RF and microwave MMIC design team with a successful track record designing, modeling and packaging a diverse product portfolio of custom and catalog designs, using GaN and GaAs technologies. Our seasoned management team maintains long-standing relationships with a top-tier operations supply chain for fabrication, packaging and testing, offering a high-value and performance combination. As a start-up company, we are agile and able to move quickly to develop innovative, high-quality products, with an emphasis on excellent technical, sales, and customer service support.

Q. What part of the 5G Ecosystem is Altum RF Developing products for?

Greg Baker: For 5G applications our design team specializes in product development for millimeter-wave front end and wireless infrastructure. In comparison to current silicon solutions, our power amplifiers deliver higher power and efficiency.

We have developed several amplifiers for 5G millimeter-wave, in particular for the 28 GHz and 39 GHz bands. Several design-in projects with major customers are in progress.

Q. Altum RF has been growing its footprint across the Globe. Can you tell us where your offices are located?

Greg Baker: As a global company, our headquarters office is located in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where we have senior management, design, sales and applications support. Our largest design team office is in Sydney, Australia, and we also have an office in Richardson, Texas with application and sales support.

Q. What is the 3-year roadmap for Altum RF?

Greg Baker: Over the next 3 years, we will remain focused on expanding our current product portfolio and adding more products to address a variety of frequency bands. For higher frequency bands such as 100-170 GHz, we expect to add more types of products. Finally, adding additional functions such as mixers and integrating the front-end enables our customers to expedite their design process and make it easier to incorporate our products into their designs.

About Greg Baker

Mr. Baker founded Altum RF in 2019. He previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, RF & Microwave at MACOM and Vice President, International Sales at MACOM. Prior to that, Mr. Baker was CEO of Nitronex, LLC, a designer and manufacturer of GaN semiconductors for RF, microwave and millimeter-wave applications, which was acquired by MACOM. Earlier positions include General Manager of RF Small Signal Products at NXP Semiconductors and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mimix Broadband Inc. Prior to Mimix, he held numerous technical and managerial positions over ten years at Sirenza Microdevices, including Vice President of International Sales, Vice President and General Manager of the Standard Products Unit, Vice President of Engineering, and Senior Director of Marketing. Mr. Baker holds a BSEE from Texas A&M University, an MSEE from Georgia Tech, and an MS in Global Finance from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology/New York University Stern School of Business.

Click here to learn more about Altum RF.