TriQuint Semiconductor, a RF products manufacturer and foundry services provider, has released a family of new highly-selective WiFi/WiMAX RF bulk acoustic wave (BAW) 4G filters. TriQuint’s BAW filters enable mobile devices to act as portable WLAN (WiFi) hotspots, and simultaneously connect directly to 4G WiMAX networks for broadband access up to 10 times faster than conventional 3G systems.
TriQuint’s innovative new filters give WLAN handsets, laptops and similar products fully-mobile, high-speed WiMAX access. Individuals can use 4G WiMAX to more quickly download movies, stream video or connect with interactive gaming. Wireless system operators including Sprint Clearwire offer 4G WiMAX devices and service across more than 20 markets in the US; there are over 550 WiMAX service areas worldwide.
Mobile devices with TriQuint BAW filter technology like the Sierra Wireless AirCard® W801 Mobile Hotspot (available from Sprint as the Overdrive™ 3G/4G mobile hotspot) can provide WLAN access for up to five connected devices. Through the AirCard W801, users may also directly access 4G WiMAX networks with their WiFi-enabled smartphone or laptop.
“The Sierra Wireless AirCard W801 Mobile Hotspot combines WiFi and WiMAX into a single device to allow users to connect multiple WiFi-equipped devices – such as phones, laptops, or ebook readers – to the internet over 4G broadband connections. Since WiMAX and WiFi are adjacent in the RF spectrum, TriQuint’s highly-selective filters reduce interference and let mobile devices that use both frequencies, like the AirCard W801 mobile hotspot, deliver dependable service,” said Evan Jones, Vice President of Engineering for Sierra Wireless.
Remarking on the critical role played by filtering in the emerging 4G WiMAX market, TriQuint Vice President Brian Balut said that without highly-selective BAW devices a “personal hot spot” would interfere with itself, severing wireless connections or otherwise rendering them unusable.
“TriQuint has developed a wide range of WiMAX and WiFi products for laptops and hand-held mobile devices that simplify RF connectivity,” Balut said. “Our latest products leverage TriQuint’s long-standing filter expertise and BAW innovations by shielding one frequency band from another, making them both fully accessible. Having this flexibility helps end users upload and download very large files very quickly. The flexibility to access WiMAX networks with an existing 3G smartphone or WiFi laptop gives consumers 4G access while extending the lifetime of their existing mobile device—it’s transformational technology.”
Personal hotspots such as those enabled by TriQuint BAW technology are expected by market analysts to create a new segment in the 3G/4G mobile broadband sector. Market watchers including Strategy Analytics have indicated that hotspot products should see increasing consumer demand. “The devices that opened this branch of the mobile hotspot market were 3G; 4G devices were more recently introduced, so this market is beginning to evolve,” remarked Chris Taylor, Director, Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components. “Bringing 4G connections to existing 3G devices, and having the ability to access 4G by new generations of wireless and RF-enabled laptops could create an opportunity for rapid expansion; this expansion will help satisfy the growing consumer demand for faster wireless mobile broadband access.”
WiMAX markets today include 52 areas in the US and Canada; there are 568 worldwide. WiMAX service areas are increasing quickly according to the WiMAX Forum®, an international trade group. This is especially true in areas where quality 3G service is absent, or service quality is declining because networks are not keeping pace with subscriber growth. By offering service up to 10 times faster than 3G, 4G WiMAX service growth will accelerate, predicts the Forum.