Akoustis Technologies has received a follow-on order from a multi-billion dollar, Tier-1 wireless telecommunications customer to develop two additional sub-6 GHz coexistence BAW RF filters for 5G mobile devices. This order follows the successful design and prototype shipment of its first 5G mobile BAW filter solution in the June quarter to the same customer.
Under the new purchase order, Akoustis will develop two new sub-6 GHz XBAW filters with expected delivery by the end of December 2019. The final filter solutions will utilize a micro package form factor that is ideal for use in mobile handsets. The new 5G filters will operate in ultra-high band (UHB) sub-6 GHz spectrum where Akoustis is a coexistence BAW filter solutions above 3 GHz. According to Jeff Shealy, Founder and CEO of Akoustis, this is a significant validation to the company’s XBAW filter technology as this follow-on order came after the Tier-1 mobile customer had the opportunity to evaluate first 5G mobile filter samples that were ordered and shipped in the June quarter. The two new filters will utilize Akoustis’ standard XBAW filter technology and operate at frequencies within the 3-6 GHz range where the company demonstrated early expertise.
Akoustis, apart from remaining focused on monetizing its recently completed tandem 5.2 GHz / 5.6 GHz WiFi filter solution as well as the emerging 5G network infrastructure filter solutions, it continues to grow customer relationships that it anticipates will drive the unique and patented XBAW technology into 5G mobile devices. As the sub-6 GHz 5G new radio (NR) UHB spectrum resides above 3 GHz, future filter solutions will be needed to resolve co-existence issues in 5G mobile handsets. Akoustis has already developed commercial filter products at 3.8 GHz, 5.2 GHz and 5.6 GHz, proving that it can produce BAW RF filters at the higher frequencies associated with sub-6 GHz 5G spectrum. As a result, the company continues discussions with multiple large mobile communications companies seeking access to high frequency co-existence filter technology.
In addition to the 5G mobile filter opportunity, Akoustis has also developed BAW filter solutions for multiple wireless markets including WiFi, 4G/5G infrastructure and defense. Mobile represents the largest potential market for the company by both volume and revenue, with approximately 1.5 billion smartphones shipped in 2018 according to a February 2019 Gartner report. The new Akoustis 5G filters will be designed and manufactured using the company’s patented XBAW process and manufactured in the Si-MEMS Wafer Fab located in Canandaigua, NY.
Akoustis has introduced several new filters over the past twelve months including a 5.6 GHz WiFi filter, a 5.2 GHz WiFi filter, 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 also developing several new filters for the sub-7 GHz bands targeting 5G mobile device, network infrastructure, WiFi CPE and defense markets.
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