Akoustis Technologies announced it has locked the design for its new 5.6 GHz Wi-Fi BAW filter and is currently manufacturing pre-production units. The AKF-1256 is a high performance, high frequency coexistence filter that operates at 5.6 GHz in the unlicensed spectrum used for Wi-Fi.

With the existing 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi filter, Akoustis now offers the first commercially available tandem BAW coexistence micro-filter solution covering both 5.2 and 5.6 GHz for tri-band Wi-Fi routers and other devices. The 5.6 GHz filter uses the same patented XBAW wafer process, backend package and supply chain as the 5.2 GHz filter. The filter is manufactured in the company’s Si-MEMS wafer fab located in Canandaigua, New York.

Potential customers have been sampling the 5.6 GHz design, providing feedback regarding performance compared to desired specifications. This feedback led to fine adjustments, resulting in a locked design. The final 5.6 GHz design has single-ended transmit and receive ports and achieves

  • Low insertion loss in the passband.
  • Bandwidth covering the entire 345 MHz UNII 2C+3 passband.
  • Maximum power rating of +30 dBm.
  • High rejection, enabling co-existence with the adjacent WiFi UNII bands.
  • 2.5 mm x 2.0 mm x 0.9 mm size, assembled in a RoHS compliant, Pb-free package.
  • −40°C to +85°C operating temperature range.

Expected Shipments

In the current quarter, Akoustis expects to ship 5.6 GHz filters in pre-production quantities to its two announced customers, including a global RF partner that has ordered more than 50,000 units and a multi-billion dollar WiFi SoC supplier that is evaluating the 5.2 and 5.6 GHz solution for possible use in multi-user MIMO, tri-mode reference designs.

Akoustis also expects additional pre-production orders during the next several months. The company said more than 15 potential customers — OEMs, ODMs, SoC and RF module manufacturers — have tested the 5.2 GHz filter and have been waiting to evaluate the tandem 5.2 and 5.6 GHz filters. The Akoustis solution would displace incumbent dielectric resonator filters, which are some 20x larger.

“With the completion of our 5.6 GHz Wi-Fi XBAW filter, we have now entered pre-production in our first high volume commercial market with a tandem BAW coexistence micro-filter solution for tri-band Wi-Fi routers. Our Wi-Fi opportunity is significant, both in terms of potential units and revenue, especially with the expected growth in MU-MIMO architectures. While we are pursuing multiple markets including defense, Wi-Fi, mobile infrastructure and handsets, we believe we can achieve profitability from the Wi-Fi router market alone, given the growing need for high performance micro-filters above 5 GHz.” — Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis

During the past year, Akoustis has introduced several filters, including the 5.6 and 5.2 GHz WiFi filters, a 3.8 GHz filter for defense phased-array radar applications, a 3.6 GHz filter for the CBRS infrastructure market and Band 25 downlink and uplink filters for LTE infrastructure. The company is developing several filters for the sub-7 GHz bands targeting 5G mobile device, network infrastructure, Wi-Fi CPE and defense markets.