BAW filter manufacturer Akoustis Technologies has completed the qualification of its first-generation XBAW wafer technology and the attendant single crystal materials process at its Canandaigua, New York wafer fab.

According the a company release, the XBAW-1 (XB1) process is the industry’s first single crystal BAW technology for the expanding RF filter market for 4G/LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi and military radar. The XB1 process supports applications from 1.5 to 7 GHz and provides wide bandwidth and high linearity. The process uses patented, single crystal piezoelectric materials and MEMS wafer manufacturing and is compatible with both conventional and flip-chip packaging.

Akoustis’ technology development process consists of five phases:

  • Pre-alpha — Demonstrate basic feasibility and capabilities.
  • Alpha — Develop and freeze a stable recipe, with limited product development.
  • Beta — Complete technology qualification in the fab, enabling product design.
  • Pre-production — Demonstrate lead product production capabilities and release final design tools.
  • Production — Improve the process and parametric performance.

In March (2018), Akoustis announced the completion of the alpha phase for the XB1 process and has now completed the beta phase qualification for both the XB1 process and the single crystal materials process. Since March, Akoustis has manufactured multiple XB1 wafer lots. Using the data from these lots, all necessary controls and supporting documentation have been established to ensure the robustness and repeatability of the process.

New products will now begin in the pre-production phase and won’t require end-to-end qualification, which will shorten the development time for catalog and custom components.

Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis, said, “We are now positioned to concentrate on the delivery of high performance RF filters for current customer engagements to support Wi-Fi, mobile devices and infrastructure, radar and other wireless applications. We expect to achieve full product qualification of our first three announced products, the AKF-1252, the AKF-1938 and the AKF-1652 later this calendar year, now that our patented technology has been fully qualified in our New York wafer manufacturing facility.”

Joel Morgan, who directs quality at Akoustis, said, “The speed at which the XBAW process was conceived, developed and qualified is quite remarkable and speaks highly of the capabilities of the development team. This provides confidence that the next steps of product qualification and release, along with the rollout of design support tools for potential foundry customers, will result in the rapid release of products, beginning later this year.”

Akoustis has an ISO9001:2015 certified quality management system.