Resonant is creating innovative filter designs for radio frequency, or RF, front-ends for the mobile device industry. The RF front-end is the circuitry in a mobile device responsible for analog signal processing and is located between the device’s antenna and its digital baseband. The RF front-end industry is undergoing dramatic increases in growth and complexity due to:
- Band proliferation
- Carrier Aggregation (CA)
- Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MIMO)
The filtering problems of RF front-ends are rapidly becoming so complex that very few companies can solve them. At Resonant, we use a fundamentally new technology we call Infinite Synthesized Networks®, or ISN®, to configure and connect acoustic resonators, which are the building blocks of RF filters.
RF Filters – Creating SAW Filters that have BAW performance
Filters are a critical component of the RF front-end. They are used to select desired radio frequency signals and reject unwanted signals. Because there is a 12-step fabrication process to create a Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) filter, versus a 3-step process for a Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filter, the unit cost of a SAW filter is approximately half that of a BAW filter. Single band BAW filters carry a typical gross margin in the sub-15% range. Using our SAW filters that have BAW performance, our partners can achieve >30% gross margin even after accounting for their manufacturing overhead and paying Resonant’s royalty.
Furthermore, our strength lies in creating designs for hard bands and complex requirements that have the potential to be manufactured for half the cost and developed in half the time of traditional approaches. Quadplexers are a good example of the growing complexity of the RF Front End. We can find novel designs that solve increasingly complex filtering problems due to our unique combination of an experienced team, deep know-how, patented methods and proprietary tools.
How we do it:
Proprietary design tools (ISN®):
In the three years since we founded Resonant, we have enhanced our design tools and technology and now, we have the unique ability to synthesize, optimize, simulate and integrate filter designs in days compared to what takes traditional filter companies weeks. We can deliver completed designs to the fab in three to four months compared to nine to 12 months using traditional design techniques.
In addition, compared to the Coupling-of-Modes (COM) tools that are used by the rest of the industry, we believe that our ISN tools are much faster and can deliver more accurate designs to the foundries.
We deliver designs to the foundry in a language they understand:
Traditional filter designs are delivered to the foundry with definitions of aggregated physical properties, which requires the fab to figure out how to produce the filter. Resonant delivers the complete recipe to produce its filter designs, including basic material properties, density and dimensions.