Akoustis Technologies, Inc. announced that Rohan Houlden has joined the company in the role of VP of engineering to manage the development and qualification of RF BAW filter products.

Houlden has 29 years experience in the RF/wireless industry, in design, business development and management. Before joining Akoustis, he served as GM of the connectivity business at Qorvo, where he was responsible for CPE Wi-Fi, smart energy and automotive products. While at RFMD, before the company merged with TriQuint to form Qorvo, he managed the product development and production ramp of custom front-end modules (FEM) for smartphones and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

Jeff Shealy, CEO of Akoustis, said, “His expertise will be invaluable as we transition from a development-stage technology company into a pure-play BAW RF filter product company. With his product development expertise in the RF and wireless industry, Rohan will add exceptional leadership and depth to our outstanding team of RF engineers.”

Houlden said, “Akoustis has an opportunity to be a disruptive player in the fast-growing, premium performance, high band BAW RF filter market.”

Akoustis is pursuing the development of single crystal materials to improve filter performance: higher bandwidth, operating frequency and output power. Today's BAW filter technology, employed by Broadcom and Qorvo, uses polycrystalline material. Akoustis claims the piezoelectric constant and material composition of single crystal material enables higher filter bandwidth; higher sound velocity allows signals to propagate faster in the RF filter; and the materials offer high thermal conductivity along the path of heat flow, enabling high power handling capability.

Akoustis’ business model leverages third party investments and existing manufacturing infrastructure in the semiconductor industry to minimize capital investment.