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RF Front-End Module Comparison 2018

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couv RF Front End Modules Comparison 2018 System Plus ConsultingExtensive overview of 40 RF Front-End modules and components found in 10 flagship products, including the Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 8 and X, Samsung Galaxy S8, Huawei P10, Asus Zenfone4 Pro, Sony XZs and Xiaomi Mi6.

2018 is a new year for RF Front-End Module suppliers, and a turning point for some smartphone-making original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). In 2017, we saw an important choice in adopting Power Amplifier Module integrated Duplexers (PAMiDs) that distinguished high-end and mid-range smartphones. Today, the distinction between these categories is becoming wider as companies work towards fifth generation (5G) wireless communication protocols. High-end OEMs are seeking new ways to integrate more capabilities into one device, which creates space on printed circuit boards for 5G components in the future.

RF Front End Modules Comparison 2018 board System Plus Consulting

At the same time, isolation techniques for all front-end communication devices are getting better, in a market with high-quality competitors. Now is the perfect time to track the field’s developments, and to see what’s coming. System Plus has therefore opened up Front-End Modules in ten flagship products. We provide information on every player and compare integration technologies between the OEMs, module suppliers and against last year’s models.

We have conducted this comparative technology study to provide insights and technology data for RF Front-End Modules in smartphones and a new smartwatch. The report studies over 40 Front-End Modules and several other components found in ten flagship products, the Apple Watch Series 3, Apple iPhone 8 Plus, Apple iPhone X, US and European versions, Samsung Galaxy S8+, US and European versions, Huawei P10, Asus Zenfone 5 Pro, Sony XZs and Xiaomi Mi6.

With teardowns of a large variety of smartphones and one smartwatch, we have extracted the main RF Modules and physically analyzed them. We have studied component sizes and technologies to provide a large panel of OEM technical and economic choices and an overview of the market. Skyworks is now a major player along with Broadcom/Avago, but we also encountered and analyzed devices from several other players, like Qorvo, Murata, and Epcos/TDK.

The report includes a description of each component and statistical analyses for most front-end modules. It also tries to explain OEM and supplier choices. Wifi and Bluetooth Modules analysis are not covered in this report.

   RF Front End Modules Comparison 2018 System Plus Consulting    RF Front End Modules Comparison 2018 player System Plus Consulting

Table of contents

Overview / Introduction

Company Profile

Physical Analysis – Apple Watch Series 3

> Front-End Modules

- Packages view and dimensions
- Packages opening
- Active die views and dimensions
      - Power amplifier
      - SPxT switch
      - RFIC

> Active/passive die views and dimensions
- Antenna matching IC

> Passive die views and dimensions
- SAW filters
- BAW filters
- IPDs
- SMD components

> Component summary

> Area and share comparison

Physical Analysis – Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Physical Analysis – Apple iPhone X

Physical Analysis – Samsung Galaxy S8+

Physical Analysis – Huawei P10

Physical Analysis – Asus Zenfone 5 Pro



Physical Analysis – Sony XZs

Physical Analysis – Xiaomi Mi6

Comparison Analysis

> Apple vs. Samsung vs. Huawei vs. Asus vs. Sony vs. Xiaomi

> Integration Comparison

> 2018 vs. 2017 RFFE Module



















About the authors


System Plus Consulting specializes in the cost analysis of electronics, from semiconductor devices to electronic systems.

Created more than 20 years ago, System Plus Consulting has developed a complete range of services, costing tools and reports to deliver in-depth production cost studies and estimate the objective selling price of a product.

System Plus Consulting engineers are experts in:

  • Integrated Circuits 
  • Power Devices & Modules 
  • MEMS & Sensors
  • Photonics 
  • LED 
  • Imaging 
  • Display 
  • Packaging 
  • Electronic Boards & Systems.

Through hundreds of analyses performed each year, System Plus Consulting offers deep added-value reports to help its customers understand their production processes and determine production costs. Based on System Plus Consulting’s results, manufacturers are able to compare their production costs to those of competitors.

System Plus Consulting is a sister company of Yole Développement.

More info at 








































  • Detailed photos

  • Precise measurements

  • Complete bills-of-material for the modules

  • Comparison between suppliers

  • Comparison between OEMs

  • Comparison with 2017 smartphones