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Qualcomm and TDK collaborate to deliver a more complete 4G/5G system

Qualcomm and TDK Electronics' joint venture has resulted in 2nd-gen RFFE equipment. (Source: Nikkei Asian Review)
Qualcomm and TDK Electronics' joint venture has resulted in 2nd-gen RFFE equipment. (Source: Nikkei Asian Review)
Qualcomm and TDK have clubbed together to acquire a remaining interest in the Singaporean body RF360 Holdings. This has enabled the 2 companies to produce a new kind of multi-mode radiofrequency front-end (RFFE) filter. It may contribute to improved switching between 4G and 5G in the Qualcomm modems of the future.

Qualcomm and TDK Electronics have secured an interest in in RF360 Holdings, which was valued at US$1.15 billion for the latter (August 2019 figures). The former has announced that the initial results of this joint venture comprise a new kind of RFFE filter for 5G modems.

RFFE is a prominent cog in the machine of the hardware that controls the use of mobile-data bands in devices such as phones. Its filters are based on technologies that use surface and bulk acoustic wave (SAW and BAW) applications. The new Qualcomm filter uses the latest examples of these, including TC-SAW and Thin Film SAW.

These new filter techniques also enable multi-mode band use, meaning that it may improve switching between 4G and 5G. This has been documented as a teething problem for consumer-grade 5G use in early-adopter regions such as South Korea, and may thus be avoided in the successors to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem.

Qualcomm now asserts that these second generation RFFE solutions for 5G will enable phone designers to make the powerful, battery-efficient devices of the future.

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A schematic showing how filtering fits in with the average mobile RFFE. (Source: Maravedis)
A schematic showing how filtering fits in with the average mobile RFFE. (Source: Maravedis)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 09 > Qualcomm and TDK collaborate to deliver a more complete 4G/5G system
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-09-16 (Update: 2019-09-16)