Filter start-up Resonant Inc. has signed a development agreement with a new customer — their fourth and what the company calls a ”leading supplier in the RF front-end (RFFE) supply chain.” For this customer, Resonant will develop a surface acoustic wave (SAW) duplexer for use in a mobile front-end, which will allow the firm to evaluate Resonant’s design tools and processes. Terms of the agreement, which includes upfront and milestone payments, were not disclosed.
“We have signed our first development agreement with our fourth vendor who is an established manufacturer currently engaged in supporting the massive filter market, which is expected to grow to more than $14 billion by 2019,” said Terry Lingren, CEO and co-founder of Resonant. “We are able to develop designs for low cost, non-temperature compensated SAW duplexers that we believe will deliver comparable performance to the more expensive BAW and FBAR duplexers. The continuously increasing complexity required by carrier aggregation, along with the industry-wide constraint on design capacity, are continuing to drive interest in our services.”
Resonant is trying to capitalize on the proliferation of mobile bands, as operators seek spectrum to handle the demand for more and faster data pipes. Each of these bands requires high performance filters. Resonant has developed a patented library of RF design tools that enables traditional FBAR, BAW or temperature compensated (TC) SAW filters to accurately be modeled and designed. Resonant says these tools enable their designs to use standard, low cost SAW processes and require fewer foundry spins. Resonant licenses these designs to customers, rather than manufacturing them, so the company avoids the cost of developing process technology and building manufacturing facilities.