Akoustis Technologies, Inc., an integrated device manufacturer of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced that it has been awarded a second design win for band n77 XBAW™ filters for 5G network infrastructure equipment from its tier-1 customer. The company expects to enter commercial production in the second half of calendar 2020.
Akoustis’ recently announced wide bandwidth n77 XBAW™ filter has now been qualified in the initial build of 5G small cell base station systems. Akoustis completed initial sample shipments earlier this quarter and expects to increase shipments during the September quarter. The company’s tier-1 OEM customer has received 5G contract awards from the carriers and plans to ramp volume production of this 5G small cell base station product in the second half of calendar 2020.
This represents the second design win of Akoustis XBAW™ filters in the small cell network infrastructure market. XBAW™ filters are uniquely suited to serve the 5G network infrastructure market given the ability to handle high frequency, wide bandwidth and high power.
In addition to the two design wins with this first customer, Akoustis has several active engagements with other tier-1 and tier-2 small cell network equipment OEMs who are currently evaluating the Company’s existing band n77 and n79 RF filter solutions. In addition, multiple OEMs have indicated the desire for additional new filters in the sub-6 GHz 5G bands.
Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis, stated, “We are pleased to follow-up our previous product announcement with our second design win in network infrastructure. We continue to see strong demand for high performance BAW filters in the ultra-high band 5G spectrum between 3 and 5 GHz.” Shealy continued, “We are also experiencing increased customer interest in our small cell XBAWTM filter portfolio quarter-over-quarter, growing from three 5G OEM engagements at the end of March to more than five engagements today, including multiple tier-1 OEM customers.”
5G small cell base stations are low power, short range cellular transmission devices, capable of providing extended coverage for consumers, enterprises or to augment cellular coverage for 5G mobile service providers. They offer all the standard characteristics of a traditional tower base station and can handle high data throughput. 5G networks are expected to employ small cells in greater quantity than prior networks to help mitigate the shorter wavelengths associated with higher frequencies.
In a recent report, Zion Market Research estimated the global small cell 5G network market was valued at around $381 million in 2018 and is expected to reach approximately $3.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of approximately 37 percent between 2019 and 2025.
Akoustis’ high frequency, high performance XBAW process and filters are experiencing growing interest as the company prepares to enter production in multiple markets in calendar 2020, including 5G network infrastructure, high-band Wi-Fi and phased-array radar applications.
Akoustis has added 14 filters to its product catalog including a 5.6 GHz Wi-Fi filter, a 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi filter, a 5.5 GHz Wi-Fi-6E filter, three small cell 5G network infrastructure filters including two Band n77 filters and one Band n79 filter, a 3.8 GHz filter and five S-Band filters for defense phased-array radar applications, a 3.6 GHz filter for the CBRS 5G infrastructure market and a C-Band filter for the unmanned aircraft systems market. The company is also developing several new filters for the sub-7 GHz bands targeting 5G mobile device, network infrastructure, W-iFi CPE and defense markets.