Murata has introduced thermo-compensated filter technology with a ceramic substrate in the Samsung Galaxy S7’s front-end module
In the front-end filter market, Murata, along with Broadcom, Qorvo, and Skyworks, is an RF components leader. Murata has forged its empire on ceramic passive electronic components and ceramic filters. Today, this old but effective technology is still used. Murata’s recent acquisition of Peregrine Semi-conductor (which specialized in RF CMOS) has provided entry into the smartphone market. The flagship Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone is the latest one to integrate Murata’s front-end module with the FAJ15, featuring Murata’s thermo-compensated technology.
The front-end module is located on the smartphone’s main board, where Samsung has proposed a different configuration of its LTE front end. Murata’s FAJ15 was only found in the Galaxy S7’s U.S. version, where it shares the front end with Qorvo and Broadcom.
The FAJ15 is dedicated to LTE low band. It is made with several filter dies assembled on a ceramic substrate. The filters are either bare dies or packages molded into FEM molding. As piezoelectric for SAW technology, the substrate dies are either LN (lithium niobium oxide) or LT (lithium tantalum oxide). The FEM contains two SAW technologies: STD-SAW (standard SAW) and TC-SAW (thermally compensated SAW). This report only focuses on the duplexer for the Band 8 LTE integrated in the FEM. This band’s specification required very low thermal drift, so the thermo-compensated layers are integrated to provide better performance relating to thermal changes.
The complete chip fabrication process and a cost estimate of the Band 8 component are presented in this report, along with a brief substrate packaging comparison with FEMs from Qorvo and Broadcom.
Overview / Introduction
Company profile & Supply Chain
Samsung Galaxy S7 Teardown
> Physical analysis methodology> Front-end module package> Front-end module views> Front-end module cross-section> Front-end module dies> Power amplifier die-view & dimensions> SPDT switch die-view & dimensions> Band 8 duplexer - SAW filter die-view & dimensions> Band 8 duplexer - SAW filter die opening> Band 8 duplexer - SAW filter die cross-section
Manufacturing Process Flow
> SAW fabrication unit> SAW wafer process > Component packaging
> SAW filter wafer front-end cost> SAW filter wafer front-end cost per process> SAW filter front-end probe test, thinning, and dicing cost> SAW filter die cost> Band 8 duplexer Package cost analysis> Estimated sales price
Substrate Packaging Comparison with FEMs from Qorvo and Broadcom
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Manufacturing process flow
Supply chain evaluation
Manufacturing cost analysis
Estimated sales price
Package substrate comparison with Qorvo TQF6405 and Broadcom AFEM9040