Akoustis Technologies has announced the second iteration of its 5.6 GHz XBAW™ Wi-Fi filter, with a pre-production order from an unnamed “global RF customer.” Akoustis began sampling the second iteration filter design earlier this quarter.
According to a company release, this new design spin has improved performance, including lower insertion loss across the 345 MHz passband and better rejection of unwanted Wi-Fi signals. High rejection enables co-existence with adjacent Wi-Fi UNII bands. The filter has single-ended transmit and receive ports and a power rating of +30 dBm maximum. It is assembled in a RoHS compliant, Pb-free package measuring 2.5 mm x 2 mm x 0.9 mm. The filter’s operating temperature range is from −40°C to +85°C.
Akoustis fabricates the 5.6 GHz filter using the XBAW wafer process in the company’s Si-MEMS wafer fab in Canandaigua, New York. Backend packaging and supply chain are the same as used for a separate 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi filter currently in pre-production. The two designs have the same footprint.
Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis, said, “We now have the world’s first micro-filter tandem solution targeting both 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands. Our customers can now replace existing filter technology with a solution that is up to 23x smaller, driving far more competitive form factors and allowing more complex MU-MIMO architectures.”
Akoustis previously announced a pre-production order and shipment of a 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi filter to the same global customer. That pre-production order included an order for more than 50,000 pre-production units of the new 5.6 GHz filter, which Akoustis plans to deliver in the current quarter.
Akoustis began sampling the first-generation 5.6 GHz filter in December 2018 and sent samples to a limited number of potential customers. Feedback from these companies has been incorporated into the second-generation design, which Akoustis plans to sample to more than 20 companies already evaluating the 5.2 GHz version.
Using both designs, Akoustis is developing what the company hopes will be the first tandem BAW coexistence filter covering the 5.2 and 5.6 GHz frequency bands, for tri-band Wi-Fi routers.
Akoustis has introduced several filters during the past year: the 5.6 and 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi filters, a 3.8 GHz filter for military phased-array radar, 3.6 GHz filter for CBRS infrastructure and band 25 downlink and uplink filters for LTE infrastructure. The company is also developing filters for the sub-7 GHz bands, targeting 5G mobile device, network infrastructure, Wi-Fi CPE and military markets.
“XBAW technology is outstanding, even as compared with other BAW and FBAR in the industry. We believe this leading filter technology is well positioned in the high frequency bands for Wi-Fi networking and 5G mobile and will help us deliver significant growth over the next several years.” — An unnamed executive from the unnamed customer