Qorvo helps advance 5G efforts with RF filter innovations for smartphones

-June 18, 2017

Another area that reduces losses is to eliminate redundant on-board matching that is used in most traditional design architectures. The power amplifier and integrated duplexer (PAMiD) architecture gives a “direct” match to the filter while reducing matching losses for the receive (RX) and transmit (TX) channels as much as 0.5 dB (Figure 4).

Figure 4
RF Fusion architecture eliminates redundant on-board matching, thus improving TX and RX losses by as much as 0.5 dB. (Image courtesy of Qorvo)

Using a bulk acoustic wave-solidly mounted resonator (BAW-SMR) filter technology in the mid- and high-bands, which are the most difficult bands, for CA is the optimum design technique in smartphones. Learn more about RF filters with RF Filter Technologies for Dummies.

Smartphones are demanding more mobile data as we move toward the 1 Gb/s goal. Challenges are daunting, but the industry is up for the challenge. Smartphones need to handle the new frequency bands that worldwide carriers are adding with more spectrum being allocated to them. So many of these bands are being combined as they support multi-carrier operation and this leads to smartphones operating on multiple carrier frequencies simultaneously.

MIMO is also enabling simultaneous data streams in the new phones which create a great deal more RF complexity. This complexity will only be increasing, and the addition of higher orders of modulation will only add to more challenges in RF design.

Ben Thomas commented that Qorvo can even employ the innovations made in their infrastructure and defence products (IDP) business in which they have solid designs in mmWave technology and associated power amplifiers, as well as low noise amplifiers (LNAs) for defense.

The next phases of development will include Europe, China, Japan, and Korea. Towards these efforts, Qorvo was the first RF supplier to join the China Mobile 5G Innovation Center in late January 2017.

They have also recently announced four 28 GHz RF solutions for 5G base stations using GaN-on-SiC  and GaAs processes. The products are a phase shifter, two transmit amplifiers, and a power amplifier. And more recently, they introduced the first 39 GHz dual-channel GaN front-end module in June 2017.

This is certainly an exciting time in RF electronics as we approach the 2018 Olympics and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which will be inflection points for 5G advances toward meeting the full capability of the proposed standard.

Stay tuned to EDN’s 5G Design Center for more exciting tech innovations as 5G progresses toward reality and please also share your comments and ideas with our readers below. You will need to register on EDN first, but it’s a good thing to be associated with EDN, a 60+ year old electronics publication that continues to bring you the best in technical electronics information for your use and design efforts. We have the best, highly technical, worldwide, and diverse audience in the industry with our huge online presence.

Steve Taranovich is a senior technical editor at EDN with 45 years of experience in the electronics industry.

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