5G Interactive Forum on Radio Frequency Front-end Technology

PUBDATE:2019-07-29 09:55:40

With the maturity of 5G technology, the day of full commercialization is approaching. 5G needs to support new frequency band and communication mode. As the core of wireless connection, the filter, power amplifier, switching antenna, tuner and other core components in RF front-end have become the outlet of the current market. It is estimated that in 2022, the global market of mobile phone RF front-end will reach 22.7 billion US dollars, which will become the "military necessity" of many manufacturers. Fight for a place. At the same time, RF front-end still faces many technical problems, such as power consumption, size, antenna number, chip design and so on. How to solve these problems has become the focus of current practitioners.
To this end, experts from leading enterprises and related institutions such as Qorvo, Ziguang Zhanrui, Huatian Science and Technology, Jiamei Xinxin, American National Instrument, Ximeiweina, Suzhou Jet Research Center, Harbin University of Technology (Shenzhen) College of Electronic and Information Engineering, etc., sponsored by Huaqiang Electronic Network on March 28, 2019, "The Fourth Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Intelligent Hardware" In the interactive forum, 5G RF front-end technology and application, a brilliant discussion was launched around the hot topics such as "5G RF front-end technology application innovation and challenges".

Compared with the past 3G and 4G, the 5G RF front-end technology will be more complex, mainly because the 5G band is broader and broader than the previous communication technology, which poses a great challenge to many RF front-end developers. As the world's leading RF innovative solution provider, Qorvo has the most comprehensive RF front-end technology in the market, and has been actively participating in and supporting the construction of the entire 5G ecosystem, accelerating the pace of 5G commercialization. Will, manager of Qorvo Field Application Engineer, said: "5G technology will bring users a leap in speed. In mobile phones, NSA is the dominant technology this year. Mobile phones with SA technology will be officially launched as early as the end of this year or next year. At the same time, due to the special requirements of 5G technology, mobile phones will carry at least 11 antennas. The Qorvo scheme is to widen the antenna so as to reduce the number of antennas. Although 5G standards are changing rapidly and operators'needs are uncertain, Qorvo can provide flexible solutions to deal with them.

Will, Qorvo Field Application Engineer Manager
Generally speaking, equipment manufacturing and testing are in the first place, which is no exception to the 5G RF front-end. Niu Xuewen, manager of National Instrument Semiconductor Development Department, said: "There are some challenges in 5G testing, especially in millimeter wave band, such as exponential growth of testing projects, more challenging RF requirements, and fierce market competition under rapid standard iteration. In the 5G millimeter-wave band, there will be many new challenges, such as new digital band, OTA test, beamforming and so on. Faced with these test difficulties, NI has developed an intelligent test system. It is not only a fixed functional tool, but also built for automatic customization, and can cover the whole production of verification. The ultimate goal of the process is to meet business needs more comprehensively.

Niu Xuewen, Manager of National Instrument Semiconductor Development Department
At the same time, as the representative of domestic RF front-end enterprises, Ziguang Zhanrui is ready for the 5G market. Zhou Yalai, senior marketing director of Ziguang Zhanrui Technologies Co., Ltd., said: "The current market price of the common RF front-end is about $5, while the price of the 5G RF front-end is about $10-15, so the prospect is huge. However, we also found that there is a blank in the manufacturing technology of RF front-end in China. Ziguang Zhanrui will build the most comprehensive wireless communication and Internet of Things product line in the industry. At the same time, it has also established 5G communication platform `Makaru'. Ziguang Zhanrui will work with all radio frequency partners to push forward the 5G process.

Zhou Yalai, Senior Marketing Director of Ziguang Zhanrui Technology Co., Ltd.
As another important part of RF front-end devices, antenna has also become the focus of public attention. Zhang Qinyu, Dean of the School of Electronic and Information Engineering of Harbin University of Technology (Shenzhen), said: "5G requires large bandwidth, high density, wide area coverage, spectrum efficiency and mobility for smart antennas, so large-scale array antenna technology and multi-user dynamic beamforming technology have been born, which can help 5G better serve consumers. At the same time, terahertz wave communication will become the trend of broadband wireless communication in the future, and the new electromagnetic material antenna technology will become the evolution direction of smart antenna technology.

Zhang Qinyu, Dean of School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Harbin University of Technology (Shenzhen)
As a manufacturer of antenna tuning chip, Jameson Core also has its own unique view on this. "In the 5G era, the integration of RF switches will become a trend," said Ni Wenhai, chairman and CTO of Jiamei Xinxin Communication Technology Co., Ltd. Nowadays, the full screen of mobile phone is a challenge for antenna design, because the antenna space becomes smaller, so the antenna tuner has become a necessity, it can play the best antenna transceiver performance in limited space. The reason why Carmelson has the opportunity is that the antenna tuning chip is not integrated, but placed together with other devices. At the same time, with the increase of 5G antenna, antenna tuning manufacturers will also get more opportunities.

Nie Wenhai, Chairman and CTO of Jiamei Xinxin Communication Technology Co., Ltd.
Likewise, Suzhou Ximei Weiner, which has many years of technical precipitation in RF switches, has put forward its own views on this issue. Liu Zewen, founder and chief scientific and technological consultant of Suzhou Ximei Weiner Systems Co., Ltd., said: "RF switches are important devices in 5G and future communication front-end and base station, while RF MEMS switches have excellent performance and are 5G and future. The best choice in communication system. It is worth emphasizing that the attenuation value of the signal will become very low after the RF MEMS switch designed by Siemei. At present, on the road of RF MEMS devices, Ximei is also expected to be in the forefront.

Liu Zewen, Founder and Chief Scientific and Technological Consultant of Suzhou Ximei Weina Systems Co., Ltd.
Of course, it is not only 5G RF chips and core devices that have technological innovation, but also the packaging field is advancing with the times. CTO of Huatian Science and Technology Group introduced the wafer-level packaging integration technology of Huatian 5G at Daquan Conference. He said: "5G is mainly divided into three parts: millimeter wave, sub-6G and sub-1G. The higher the frequency band, the higher the requirement for miniaturized packaging. For BAW, SAW, IPD and other devices in 5G, as well as millimeter wave, advanced wafer packaging technology can achieve a high efficiency and miniaturization effect. Huatian Technologies launched the silicon-based fan-out packaging technology three years ago. By etching high-precision cavity on silicon, the chip is embedded in the silicon wafer. The warpage of the silicon wafer will be very small and high-density wiring can be carried out.

CTO of Huatian Science and Technology Group in Daquan
In encapsulation, filter encapsulation is one of the key points. Wang Jianguo, Vice-President of Suzhou Jieyan Core Nanotechnology Co., Ltd., said: "With the arrival of 5G, the market of mobile phone RF front-end modules and components is developing rapidly, and the filter is the key point. In the future, the packaging of filter will take the trend of miniaturization, improvement of device form and combination. Suzhou Jet Research Core is currently focusing on CSP-3 packaging technology. Through the innovation of cavity closure between chips and chips, it has developed to the third generation, in order to gradually realize the miniaturization, mass production, low cost, high precision and integration of device packaging.

Vice President Wang Jianguo of Suzhou Jieyan Core Nanotechnology Co., Ltd.
In short, the 5G in 2019 has gradually matured, and the formal commercialization is near at hand. At the same time, with the tide of Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, the prospect of 5G commercialization is immeasurable. As an important part of 5G technology, the RF front-end will also become one of the most important outlets in the market this year. Of course, there are challenges, but challenges usually mean demand, which often represents dividends. To grasp the front end of 5G radio frequency is to grasp the future.