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Filtering is a key technology for RF Front-End modules. Claire Troadec and Antoine Bonnabel from Yole Développement explain that steady growth is envisaged in 5G Sub- 6GHz markets, but that a high technology disruption is expected in 5G mmWave markets - This article has been written by Yole Développement for EVATEC magazine, LAYERS.

The RF filter industry is currently extremely active in several areas. The market is experiencing steady growth that will continue in the foreseeable future, and continuous improvement of devices is required. With the constant increase in the number of bands addressed by smartphones and the development of new transmission methods, such as carrier aggregation or multiple antennas, the number of filtering functions in phones is increasing and their specifications must improve. For example, a phone which is able to work on 20 different frequency bands can need up to 20 duplexers (40 filters) to function correctly. If the phone uses a diversity antenna, hence a second antenna to enhance the reception link quality – as most new phones do – it can need up to 20 additional filters. A 20-band phone using 4x4 multiple input, multiple output (4x4 MIMO), meaning transmission and reception on four antennae, would require up to 160 filtering functions!

In addition, new transmission methods such as carrier aggregation require the newly developed filtering functions to have tremendously high specifications in terms of isolation, insertion losses or filtering skirts. This means that the RF filtering industry must offer better filters in higher numbers and therefore at a lower cost and with a smaller footprint. One of the solutions to reduce footprints and improve specifications is architectural innovation such as the development of multiplexers – particularly for the use of carrier aggregation. Multiplexers are created by joining together several filters for different frequency bands. These devices perform better than discrete duplexers linked together as each filter is designed to work efficiently with the others. Nevertheless, the complexity of multiplexers results in a higher cost than the use of discrete elements... Full article in LAYER MAGAZINE powered by Evatec - page 4



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