2018 Wireless and RF Forecast - Skyworks Solutions, Inc.

2018 will be about the initial transition to 5G given that the rapid development of this new standard is being driven by market pull, and not technology push.  Ubiquitous connectivity is gaining significant momentum and enhancing the way we live, work, play, and educate, creating an immediate and insatiable demand for higher speed and lower latency data. While millimeter-wave frequencies will unlock a massive swath of new spectrum for 5G and cellular communications, we believe 5G will be quickly adopted as a dual-connectivity solution at sub-6 GHz and even sub-1 GHz frequencies.  Ultimately, this data throughput and low latency will enable a host of new applications, from autonomous vehicles to artificial intelligence, augmented and mixed reality, and much more, with some of the most exciting applications not yet envisioned. 

With this migration to 5G comes increasing band complexity and RF content through both carrier aggregation and MIMO. The initial phase of 5G in higher-frequency bands—between 2.7 and 6 GHz—for 5G cellular communications will have a significant impact on RF front-end complexity and the technologies utilized.  We foresee a need for new RF technologies to address signal transmission, conditioning, filtering, tuning, voltage regulation, battery-charging, and packaging – creating a perfect storm of complexity.  Ultimately, the evolution to 5G will be a key factor in the rapid proliferation of the Internet of Things and this presents significant opportunities for 2018 and beyond as demand grows for connectivity solutions specifically designed for low power networks. 

GammelPeter L. Gammel is Chief Technology Officer for Skyworks Solutions, Inc. He joined the company in June 2011 as part of Skyworks' acquisition of SiGe Semiconductor. At SiGe, he served as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Engineering at Renaissance Wireless and Chief Technology Officer at AdvanceNanotech and for Agere Systems' Analog Products Business. He was also a distinguished member of technical staff at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. Dr. Gammel received a bachelor's of science in physics and mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University.