RF tunability gains acceptance in flagship products

March 29, 2012 — Tunability is a hot new topic for radio frequency (RF) front-end modules, shows Yole Développement’s report, "RF filters, PAs, Antenna Switches & Tunability for Cellular Handsets."

After years of development, antenna tuners were accepted in 2011, with gallium arsenide (GaAs) switches, ferroelectric capacitors, and micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) variable capacitors integrated into flagship products.

Also read: WiSpry RF MEMS enables major handset and RF MEMS tuned for growth, shows smartphone win

Antenna tuners will likely become an attracive market, now that the technologies are providing a significant value proposition in devices. New types of tuners, and massive deployment of LTE by 2014, will drive growth.

Leading the MEMS field, Wispry will be a key player to watch, while Sony and Peregrine also offer promising approaches based on alternative technologies. The acquisition of Paratek by RIM in March 2012 is also a sign that antenna tuners will be a strategic technology to be integrated in many cellphone platforms in the near future.

For more on the state of RF chip architectures, read CMOS power amplifiers grab market share from GaAs

Yole Développement is a group of companies providing market research, technology analysis, strategy consulting, media, and finance services. Learn more at www.yole.fr.

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