Microwave Journal
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Akoustis Secures Wi-Fi 6E Reference Design with Third SoC Maker

May 17, 2021

Akoustis Technologies, Inc. announced that its patented XBAW® filters are being included in a new Wi-Fi 6E reference design by a leading system-on-chip (SoC) maker. This is the third SoC reference design partner for Wi-Fi 6E announced by Akoustis since March as its Wi-Fi 6E coexistence solution continues to gain adoption in the market.

The 5.5 GHz filter module covers the UNII 1-3 spectrum of the W-iFi 6E standard, while the 6.5 GHz filter module covers the entire UNII 5-8 spectrum. The SoC vendor is building a MU-MIMO reference design for next-generation routers and other connected devices. The reference design is already available for Wi-Fi OEMs and ODMs to build cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E devices. The SoC reference design model enables a one-customer to many-customers sales opportunity as Akoustis benefits from inclusion on the bill-of-materials of leading baseband chipset suppliers.

Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis, stated, “It is increasingly apparent that Wi-Fi 6E is one of the most compelling near-to-intermediate term market opportunities for Akoustis as enormous momentum for the planned adoption of the new Wi-Fi 6E spectrum continues to build worldwide.” Mr. Shealy continued, “As our new and growing product portfolio of 6E filters is now able to target routers, cable set top boxes and other CPE markets as well as the future 5G-enabled mobile device market, the demand for our Wi-Fi 6E XBAW® filters is robust given our superior selectivity performance and smaller form-factor as an early mover in this rapidly-developing market for high frequency BAW micro filters.” 

In April 2020, the FCC announced the approval of 5.9 to 7.1 GHz for unlicensed use, which is the largest spectrum addition since the FCC allocated unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi in 1989. The next-generation of Wi-Fi that is expected to use these new frequency bands is called Wi-Fi 6E. This approval will create another significant new band, or combination of bands, over the next several years. Since the FCC’s April announcement, governments around the world have begun allocating the same or similar spectrum for future Wi-Fi use. As spectrum is scarce, many nations are limited in the amount of new, available unlicensed spectrum above 6 GHz. This is driving great demand for high-performance coexistence filters that allow the use of all available spectrum.

Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its Wi-Fi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW® filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and is now entering the market with its new Wi-Fi 6E coexistence XBAW® filter solutions.

Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in both 5G mobile and Wi-Fi 6E in calendar 2022, the company plans to increase the annual production capacity at its New York fab by the end of calendar 2021 to approximately 500 million filters per year.