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Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards

Peregrine Semiconductors Corporation

Jim Cable

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When the Internet bubble burst, many companies ran into trouble. Among them was Peregrine Semiconductors Corporation, a provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits. The firm had basically run out of money, and Jim Cable was asked to step in and rescue it. Cable, the company’s CEO since 2002, has led the organization back and Peregrine has grown from a small startup to a global, publicly traded company with a patent-rich portfolio of intellectual property.

The company was founded in 1990 with the goal of commercializing silicon-on-sapphire semiconductor process technology, which many industry leaders thought was not possible or economically viable. The company succeeded and it has shipped more than one billion devices to more than 1,500 global customers. The firm also has 135 patents issued or pending.

Cable began his career as an engineer, and he holds 19 patents. He has also co-invented many key Peregrine products, and to this day, company engineers will occasionally bring design problems to him for illumination.

Cable says that his balance of scientific aptitude and communication skills serves him well. He says that he can relate to the leadership, engineering, sales and finance teams, which helps him to create a sense of unity throughout the company. He also has to call upon his communication skills when he presents new technology to international audiences, which often have different cultural viewpoints but are united in their desire to take part in the communications revolution.

Because there seems to be no limit to the demand for wireless data, the company’s services are in high demand. Cable has instructed Peregrine’s design and manufacturing teams to apply Moore’s Law to product development. He says that, according to Moore, processing power doubles about every 18 months, and so Peregrine has to move at a similar pace. Cable believes that Peregrine is uniquely suited to create the products necessary to meet the market’s needs.

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