Qualcomm Launches RF Front-End Platform for NexGen Mobile Devices

Qualcomm Technologies has introduced a suite of comprehensive RF front-end (RFFE) solutions for Gigabit LTE, LTE-Advanced and 4x4 MIMO Applications that span from the digital modem to the antenna port. The latest additions to the Qualcomm RF360 family of RFFE products are gallium arsenide (GaAs) power amplifier modules (QPA5460, QPA5461, QPA4360 and QPA4361) and the next-generation Qualcomm TruSignal antenna performance enhancement solution (QAT35xx) to drive superior RF performance by utilizing modem intelligence and system-level design and optimization.

The recently announced joint venture between Qualcomm Incorporated and TDK Corporation, RF360 Holdings Singapore PTE. Ltd. (RF360 Holdings) helps build this comprehensive RFFE technology portfolio. RF360 Holdings brings a legacy of expertise in RF filtering and modules as well as integrated and discrete micro-acoustic components such as multi-technology RF filters, duplexers, multiplexers and extractors, and has an established footprint in flagship smartphones. As a result, Qualcomm Technologies has the in-house capability and access to develop, integrate, manufacture, assemble, test and deliver GaAs and CMOS power amplifiers, BAW, SAW and TC-SAW filters and filter modules, high performance switches, power trackers, antenna tuners and integrated modules - all the components necessary for a comprehensive leading-edge RFFE solution to complement its leading modem technology for next generation mobile devices.

New RF Front-End Module Solutions

The QPA546x and QPA436x multimode, multiband power amplifier (MMPA) modules are optimized for envelope-tracking and average power tracking, respectively, and combine high, mid and low band power amplifiers with high performance switches to provide highly integrated modules for regional and global designs with superior power efficiency. QPA5461 is designed to work with the QET4100 envelope tracker and is the first MMPA optimized for High Power User Equipment (HPUE) operation, providing high power-efficiency solutions for devices in LTE TDD networks.

The QPA546x MMPA is part of a modular front-end solution supporting carrier aggregation, that includes a D5328 front-end module (FEMiD) with integrated quadplexer and a D5285 diversity receive (DRX) module. Compatible BAW filters are available for designs requiring higher performance in high bands such as band 41. The D5328 comprises of SAW filters, TC-SAW filters, and proprietary layer-transfer switches. The D5285 diversity receive module includes SAW filters and layer-transfer switches. This modular configuration offers a low part-count solution with low design-in effort for devices that support leading-edge connectivity features such as Gigabit LTE, LTE-Advanced and 4x4 MIMO.

Next-generation Qualcomm® TruSignal™ antenna performance enhancement solutions

Comprising the QAT3550 impedance tuner, the QAT3514 aperture tuner, QAT3522 antenna diversity switch and advanced modem software, the latest generation of Qualcomm Technologies' TruSignal provides a comprehensive antenna performance enhancement technology suite that is the mobile industry's first commercial adaptive antenna tuning solution supporting carrier aggregation. The TruSignal solution is designed to use the modem's intelligent processing power to continuously optimize signal quality and support a consistent user experience across use conditions while maximizing network coverage and battery life for sleek LTE-Advanced mobile devices including smartphones with metal backs. For consumers, this means support for a more consistent data and voice experience indoors and outdoors.  For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the adaptive tunability of the system helps reduce time-to-certification by addressing the risk of mismatch from antenna redesign iterations.

The QAT35xx antenna tuning and diversity switch products are supported for use with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The QPA546x, QPA436x, D5328 and D5285 products are released and sampling today. The QAT35xx solutions are currently in production and are expected to be in commercially available devices soon.