During Qorvo’s earnings call this week, Bill Peterson, an analyst at JP Morgan, asked about Qorvo’s activity developing mmWave products for handsets — or whether it is focused on the sub-6 GHz bands.
He referred to Qualcomm promoting mmWave capability in the handset, while Skyworks is downplaying adoption (see Liam Griffin’s comments from the Skyworks earnings call on January 23).
Eric Creviston, president of Qorvo’s Mobile Products, said his business is helping to validate the market by leveraging the mmWave GaAs MMIC technology in the Infrastructure and Defense Products (IDP) segment and actively engaging with customers.
“We have released new commercial versions of those processes and have introduced those to multiple handset manufacturers and platform providers. We are building prototypes to help demonstrate the capability of mobile mmWave and showing what could be done in terms of thermal dissipation and power efficiency and battery life and so forth,” Creviston said.
However, he cautioned that despite carriers deploying mmWave in multiple cities, it has not been proven.
“I think the big question is whether the business model is going to close on it. I think there (are) a lot of challenges in mmWave in a mobile application. By definition, you are moving in a mobile application, and the path loss is quite high in mmWave. So, we’ll see,” Creviston said.
On the infrastructure side of the network, James Klein, president of IDP, said his business is engaged with 5G and fixed wireless access infrastructure, seeing more systems adopt GaAs front-ends rather than pure silicon due to efficiency.
He said Qorvo’s GaAs process technology — “some of the smallest gate lengths that we’ve released in production” — provides the best efficiency.
Listen to Bill Peterson’s question and the responses from Eric Creviston and James Klein: