5G industry news Acceleration & Innovation

Groundbreaking Qualcomm ultraBAW filter technology pushes high performance in high 5G frequencies

  • 4 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 22 Oct 2021
  • Last modified 22 Oct 2021
Extension of micro acoustic filter technology portfolio to address new 5G and Wi-Fi applications up to 7 GHz
Christian Block, Senior VP, QualComm Germany
Christian Block, Senior Vice President and GM, RF Front-End, Qualcomm Germany RFFE GmbH

Acoustic filters have become the most common RF filter technology for mobile devices and are essential for successful 5G service. They have the capability to cover low, mid, high, and now, very high frequencies — enabling a high degree of integration and reduced phone board size and delivering a competitive performance-to-cost ratio for the complex filter requirements of today’s 5G systems.

Today we are introducing Qualcomm ultraBAW, our new generation of micro acoustic filter technology that expands our RF front-end (RFFE) portfolio and opens up new 5G services and applications.

Current micro acoustic filter technologies — such as SAW, TC-SAW, previous BAW generation, and Qualcomm ultraSAW — are excellent for 5G (sub-3 GHz) and legacy 4G.

Adding complexity to the equation is the arrival of new 5G NR frequencies such as n77 (3300 – 4200 MHz) and n79 (4400 – 5000 MHz), along with the introduction of new generations of Wi-Fi that will stretch the range of filter coverage from 2.7 GHz up to 7.2 GHz. Filters and modules will also have to deal with larger modulation bandwidths (300 MHz Downlink, 100 MHz Uplink) and co-exist with the new Wi-Fi bands that reside near the 5G NR range.

Qualcomm ultraBAW filter technology was developed to deliver the high selectivity and lower insertion loss necessary to operate on this higher and crowded frequency range. It provides mobile devices with the ability to concurrently use new available spectrum on the same device, in a situation where Wi-Fi at 5GHz needs to co-exist (operate at the same time) with the cellular n79 band, keeping control of power consumption and thermal heat dissipation at high frequencies.

Qualcomm ultraBAW micro acoustic filter solution as a game changer for new 5G services
Qualcomm ultraBAW micro acoustic filter solution as a game changer for new 5G services

The new Qualcomm ultraBAW RF filter complements Qualcomm ultraSAW filter and numerous other RF front-end components for full sub-7 GHz performance in our comprehensive modem-to-antenna RF solution portfolio, which continuously delivers cutting-edge innovations, performance, and power efficiency.

The Qualcomm ultraBAW enhanced performance at the filter element level provides a broader impact on our entire RFFE product portfolio including power amplifier modules, diversity modules, Wi-Fi (modules/extractors/filters), discrete filters. Qualcomm ultraBAW also equips our recently launched power amplifier module (Qualcomm QPM6679), enabling high power handling with high frequency support in very small acoustic structures.

The adoption of Qualcomm ultraBAW opens the range of new application areas beyond the cellular segment. Segments such as automotive, PCs, CPE (Consumer Premises Equipment), IoT, and industrial applications will also benefit from the RF front-end modules and discrete filters based on the Qualcomm ultraBAW technology as more use cases emerge in the public and private sectors. Products enabled with Qualcomm ultraBAW filter technology are currently sampling to customers. Commercial devices featuring the technology are expected to launch in the second half of 2022.

Learn more about our full RFFE portfolio

Our high performance RFFE products, now enabled with the ultraBAW technology, are helping achieve better coverage, fewer dropped calls, significant increase in capacity, and consequently faster Uplink/Downlink data speeds, longer battery life, and better thermal performance.

By adopting the Qualcomm Technologies RFFE portfolio, OEMs can produce better quality smartphones and user devices as well as reduce manufacturing costs and time-to-launch for new devices in the fast- growing 5G environment.

At Qualcomm Technologies, we invent foundational technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. And we’re very proud of being the first to produce all the components needed to deliver a comprehensive commercial modem-to-antenna 5G Modem-RF mobile platform — including our cutting-edge micro acoustic filter technology — to our OEM manufacturers.

Learn more about Qualcomm ultraBAW sub-7GHz filter technology