Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced that its patented XBAW filters are being designed into a new WiFi 6E gateway platform by a carrier-grade WiFi OEM.
The new gateway design will use multiple Akoustis 5.5 GHz and 6.5 GHz XBAW coexistence filters for a tri-band multi-user, multiple-in-multiple-out (MU-MIMO) gateway product that will be part of carrier-installed consumer premise equipment. The 5.5 GHz filter module covers the UNII 1-3 spectrum of the WiFi 6E standard, while the 6.5 GHz filter module covers the entire UNII 5-8 spectrum. The Company expects the customer to enter production of the new gateway in late calendar 2021, with production to ramp in early 2022.
Dave Aichele, EVP of Business Development of Akoustis, said that they continue to add new WiFi 6E customers as the industry leading 5.5/6.5 GHz and 5.6/6.6 GHz coexistence filter solutions offer greater selectivity and greater flexibility in terms of spectrum use. He also said that given the robust activity in their WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E filter sales pipeline, they expect to receive multiple new design wins in the coming months.
In April 2020, the FCC announced the approval of 5.9 to 7.1 GHz for unlicensed use, which is the largest spectrum addition since the FCC allocated unlicensed spectrum for WiFi in 1989. The next generation of WiFi that is expected to use these new frequency bands is called WiFi 6E. This approval will create another significant new band, or combination of bands, over the next several years. Since the FCC’s April announcement, governments around the world have begun allocating the same or similar spectrum for future WiFi use. As spectrum is scarce, many nations are limited in the amount of new, available unlicensed spectrum above 6 GHz. This is driving great demand for high-performance coexistence filters that allow the use of all available spectrums.
Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its WiFi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and is now entering the market with its new WiFi 6E coexistence XBAW filter solutions.
Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in both 5G mobile and WiFi 6E in calendar 2022, the Company plans to increase the annual production capacity at its New York fab by the end of calendar 2021 to approximately 500 million filters per year.
Akoustis currently has 15 commercial XBAW filters in its product catalog and recently introduced 5.6 GHz and 6.6 GHz WiFi 6E coexistence filter modules, which when qualified, will bring the number of catalog products to 17. Current product catalog filters include a 5.6 GHz WiFi filter, a 5.2 GHz WiFi filter, a 5.5 GHz WiFi-6E filter, a 6.5 GHz WiFi 6E filter, three small cell 5G network infrastructure filters including two Band n77 filters and one Band n79 filter, a 3.8 GHz filter and five S-Band filters for defense phased-array radar applications, a 3.6 GHz filter for the CBRS 5G infrastructure market and a C-Band filter for the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) market. The Company is also developing several new filters for the sub-7 GHz bands targeting 5G mobile devices, network infrastructure, WiFi CPE and defense markets.
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