Qualcomm’s March on Connection Quality: New RF Filters with up to 0.8 dB Better Performanceby Dr. Ian Cutress on February 18, 2020 7:30 AM EST
One of the key components to any wireless system is the ability to detect the required frequency and ensure a clean signal with a stable connection. In order to do this, especially with Radio Frequency connections such as those in cell phones, a variety of filters are needed for specific frequency selection. Today Qualcomm is announcing that it has made a new breakthrough in its RF filter design through a novel thin film technology.
The new technology allows Qualcomm to produce filters from 0.6 GHz to 2.7 GHz (i.e. LTE) with better efficiency / lower power per bit than in previous generations. Qualcomm states a quality factor of over 5000, which it rates as market leading. With the new filters, Qualcomm is claiming a 0.8-1.0 dB better signal detection clarity than competing technologies. The example Qualcomm gives is the signal performance on Band 40:
Here QC is showing the signal loss for Band 40 transmission between 2290 and 2400 MHz – while the standard requires around 1.5 dB loss, competing technologies can achieve up to 1-1.2 dB loss, while Qualcomm can achieve under 1 dB loss across the whole range, with gains up to 0.8 dB in places, especially at the edges where signal can be at its weakest.
It’s worth noting that the x-axis in this graph isn’t linear – it appears the two middle values have been swapped for some reason.
With the new thin film technology, Qualcomm also claims that it can provide Wi-Fi isolation filters and suppression than the competition.
We’re not expecting Qualcomm to announce when it is using the new technology in its next generation products – to be honest I’m even surprised Qualcomm is making this announcement given the context of what would be Mobile World Congress. Technically there is another event this week in San Francisco, the International Solid State Conference, where this is the sort of thing that would be presented, however I can’t find a paper set to be presented at that conference that includes this. If Qualcomm are ready to commercialize its new thin film technology, which may explain this.