Qualcomm’s new ultraBAW RF Filter tech promises to improve your phone’s 5G and Wi-Fi 6E performance
Back in early 2020, Qualcomm had announced its ultraSAW filter technology alongside the launch of the Snapdragon X60 modem. Today, the company is expanding on the available RF Filters with the announcement of the Qualcomm ultraBAW RF filter technology for bands up to 7GHz.
Radio Frequency (RF) Filters are a fascinating piece of technology, something that we don’t actively think about but one that is crucial for the smooth functioning of our digital lives. As the name would imply, an RF Filter filters out the noise and reduces interference from external signals, ensuring that only the needed frequencies are transmitted in the best possible way. Within the context of phones and phone-adjacent mobile equipments, an RF Filter will isolate radio signals from the different spectrum bands that phones use to receive and transmit information.
Qualcomm’s previously announced ultraSAW RF filter (Surface Acoustic Wave) worked to filter frequencies from 600MHz to 2.7GHz, and offered several key features that allowed for a more efficient RF path in 5G and 4G multi-mode devices at a lower cost point, compared to competing solutions. Long story short, ultraSAW RF Filter-driven RF performance helped device makers make 5G devices with superior connectivity and battery life to consumers.
The new Qualcomm ultraBAW RF filter (Bulk Acoustic Wave) targets performance between 2.7GHz to 7.2GHz for both 5G and Wi-Fi solutions. UltraBAW also supports channels of up to 300MHz, and co-existence for 5G and/or Wi-Fi networks. For Wi-Fi, ultraBAW provides support for critical bands like 5GHz and 6GHz for Wi-Fi 6E and future Wi-Fi standards. The focus is on providing performance in the form of better transmission rates and location services, and do it power efficiently, both indoors and outdoors. UltraBAW filters use thin-film piezo material micro-acoustic technology within a small footprint and a thermal module that helps with efficiency.
The new Qualcomm ultraBAW RF filters join Qualcomm ultraSAW and numerous other RF front end components in Qualcomm Technologies’ antenna-to-modem RF solution portfolio. UltraBAW will be integrated across the company’s product line, including power amplifier modules, diversity modules, Wi-Fi (modules/extractors/filters), and discrete filters. Products enabled with Qualcomm ultraBAW filter technology are currently sampling to customers (B2B). Commercial devices featuring the technology are expected to launch in the second half of 2022.