RF filter project moves ahead with new member

September 18, 2006 – Aviza Technology Inc., Scotts Valley, CA, says it will collaborate with CEA LETI and EPCOS as part of a European project, the goal of which is to combine CMOS and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) resonator technologies for new mixed system-in-package (SiP) and system-on-chip (SoC) transmitter modules used in mobile communications devices.

The project, dubbed MOBILIS (“Mixed SiP and SoC Integration of Power BAW Filters for Digital Wireless Transmissions”), aims to enable the next generation of enhanced cellular handsets, which could handle up to six frequency bands, by developing digital transmitter modules that combine a SoC digital IC with BAW filter and SiP RF power module, along with a power amplifier and BAW filter/duplexer.

Filter designs utilizing surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology are not compatible with IC manufacturing, so the group will build a BAW filter above the digital circuit, combining Si-based microelectronics with micromachining. SoC integration of the BAW filter and digital transmitter will help to meet end-user demand for product miniaturization, the group expects.

“This project will enable the multi-function, multi-bandwidth handsets of the future and the next wave of wireless devices,” stated Dr. John Macneil, EVP and CTO of Aviza, which will develop and supply thin film materials and contribute its process expertise for developing high-power compatible BAW filters.

MOBILIS has been granted approximately $7.6 million (EUR 6.0 million) under the European 6th Framework Programme for research and technological development, as part of the European Union’s strategic objective “Design Technologies of Nanoelectronics Integrated Circuits.” Participants include Aviza, CEA LETI (France), and EPCOS (Germany), as well as the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), STMicroelectronics (Switzerland), VTT (Finland), Polytechnic U. of Madrid (Spain), and U. Politechnica of Bucharest (Romania).

Aviza projects BAW filter demand to grow significantly over the next decade, with BAW resonators as an enabling technology for new RF communication devices. Less than 3% of filters shipped for cell phones in 2004 were BAW-based.


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