RALEIGH – Emerging 5G technology uses considerably more silicon chips in cell tower base stations than previous wireless tech, which is a good thing for semiconductor firm Analog Devices, and a major reason for its expansion of its Raleigh offices.

Based in Norwood, Massachusetts, the company opened its Raleigh offices about 15 years ago when an engineer with the skill sets it needed left Sony Ericsson in the Triangle and set up shop on the NC State Centennial campus. It currently has 60 employees in Raleigh and nearly 400 in North Carolina where it also has sites in Greensboro and Cary.

Last summer, the company’s software defined radio technology helped set up communications in the cave where a Thailand soccer team of young boys had become trapped by flooding, aiding their rescue.

It recently moved into much larger new digs in the Dillon building in the Raleigh Warehouse district, where it has room in the 24,000 square foot facility  to expand to 120 employees.

Analog Devices new offices in the Dillon building in Raleigh offer room for expansion. ADI photo.


It wanted to be in the Warehouse district where amenities such as restaurants, bars and hotels abound, making it attractive to potential new hires. Nitin Sharma, general manager of the Transceiver Product Group at Analog Devices  told WRAL TechWire that it often has out-of-town customers visit, who can stay at a nearby hotel and walk across the street to its new offices.

Sharma explains that typical wireless base stations today have from two to four antennas with a radio behind each. New 5G technology requires from 16 to 32 to 64 antennas, a “huge increase in the silicon content.”

The Raleigh office of Analog Devices developed the radio technology that transmits and receives radio frequency transmissions and transforms it into digital information via integrated chips. “We developed a highly integrated form of the radio that was initially built from multiple components. We integrate that into a single chip, which saves on size, weight and power,” he said.

Inside Analag Devices’ new Raleigh office. Photo courtesy Analag Devices.

Sharma added, “The technology is disruptive and innovative and was pioneered right here in Raleigh.” The company’s tech is also used in such products as drone video cameras. It also helped develop 4G systems.

He said the growth of communications technologies, including 5G spurred expansion of its Raleigh site. 5G is happening more quickly than 4G did, he noted, and will provide download and upload speeds and potential for new apps he calls “exciting.”

The company generally sells its chips to tier one infrastructure providers, “the Nokias and Ericssons of the world, who in turn sell to customers such as Verizon and AT&T.

The 54-year-old company is a $6.2 billion operation in 2018 with 15,000 employees globally.  Its technologies are used in applications ranging from driverless cars to healthcare.


Analog Devices expands Raleigh offices in move to The Dillon


Raleigh ADI office developed radio technology that helped save cave-trapped soccer team