Cavendish Kinetics, the leading provider of high-performance radio frequency (RF) MEMS tuning solutions, announced that its SmarTune RF MEMS antenna tuners have been adopted by 40 different smartphone models from 10 manufacturers, including the Samsung Galaxy A8. This traction and Tier 1 design win highlight the market recognition and acceptance of RF MEMS’ benefits, and the technology’s potential to improve smartphone performance and user experience.

“Realizing good signal strength in smartphones has become extremely challenging given the thin metal frames, large displays and many LTE frequency bands the antennas need to support, especially with the growth of MIMO and carrier-aggregation”, explained Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts. “Insertion losses in the RF section are also becoming so high that battery life is impacted.  New tuning technologies like MEMS can greatly improve performance compared with simple SOI switches in these challenging conditions.”

Antenna tuning has become the default solution for the industry, but the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) switches many use today are increasingly unable to meet RF performance requirements. Smartphone manufacturers are turning to Cavendish Kinetics’ RF MEMS SmarTuners to solve the challenge.  Beyond the performance advantages, Cavendish Kinetics’ RF MEMS SmarTuners have proven to be extremely reliable which is of great importance to Smartphone OEMs.

“Cavendish’s low-loss, high-Q RF MEMS tuners provide a truly differentiated solution that allows OEMs to design tunable antennas that enable peak signal strength and corresponding high data rates across the entire set of LTE bands,” said Paul Dal Santo, CEO of Cavendish Kinetics. “We are particularly excited that a major global brand like Samsung has adopted Cavendish’s SmarTune solution."

Technology analysts continue to recognize the importance of Cavendish’s RF MEMS products to the smartphone industry. The Linley Group, a leading source for independent technology analysis of semiconductors for networking, communications, mobile, and data-center applications, recently awarded Cavendish Kinetics’ SmarTuner as the Best Mobile Chip of 2016.  Cavendish joins an elite group of companies such as Intel, Qualcomm, Marvell and Synopsis who received The Linley Group award in alternate categories.

“Our awards program not only recognizes excellence in chip design and innovation, but also recognizes the products that our analysts believe will have an impact on future designs,” said Linley Gwennap, founder and principal analyst at The Linley Group. “Cavendish SmarTuners enable capacitive aperture tuning, increasing antenna efficiency, enhancing reception, and saving power. SmarTuner’s 32 levels handle a wide range of LTE bands and antenna types.”

Building on the success of its first generation of RF MEMS SmarTuners, Cavendish will release the 2nd generation of its RF MEMS products in 2Q of 2017, which will include the industry’s first viable RF MEMS Switch for cellular Smartphone and IOT radio applications. Cavendish received a $25 million strategic investment from Qorvo in mid 2015.

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