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5G RF Front End Leans Heavily on Advanced Packaging for Integrated RF ModulesMay 07, 2020Within the realm of smartphone electronics design, the emergence of 5G RF front-end complications are presenting a new set of challenges. The demands for multiple 5G frequencies, TDD and FDD flavors and even multiple millimeter wave antenna modules within the finite space of the humble smartphone form-factor has pushed the industry to look for a solution to tame that complexity.
Criticality of 5G Modem to RF Integration; A look inside Samsung Galaxy S20 UltraApril 28, 2020Teardown analysis of 2nd generation 5G modem and RF design highlights the importance to modem to antenna integration
Google's custom mobile SoC ambitions clears up mystery behind NPU chipsets in existing PixelsApril 15, 2020Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, has been preaching an “AI-first” approach to their mobile go-to-market strategy for a while now. If we look inside the hardware designs of Pixel phones from the Pixel 2 to the current Pixel 4, what we found puzzling is the inclusion of a discrete NPU chip.
OnePlus continues 5G hit parade with new flagships models as well as mmWave version for VerizonApril 14, 2020Using a remote live streaming venue instead of the pre-COVID in-person press conference, OnePlus today announced the follow up to their flagship model, the all-5G-capable OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The introduction was not unexpected as last year’s OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro (as well as the 6 series the year before that) was introduced in the same month of April. For OnePlus, their April flagship has become a tradition of sorts; just as predictable as those of Samsung, Huawei and Apple. For OnePlus, the appeal of the no-frills/high specification/lower cost premium designs have attracted a loyal following of youthful and tech-savvy consumers. More notable at today’s announcement was OnePlus win with another major US carrier - Verizon (in addition to last year with T-Mobile). Any new brands making it to the premium lineup of a US carrier is a big deal given the long history of failed attempts (i.e. Amazon, Sony and Essential). This implicit support by another major carrier to carrier OnePlus devices in ultra-premium segment speaks volumes about the successes OnePlus has achieved over the past several years.
Huawei’s second-gen 5G electronic design gets streamlined with Kirin 990 5G SoCMarch 21, 2020First generation design of any new “G” smartphone is, for all intent and purposes, a study in design compromises. To get product to market on time, non-ideal designs are used in order to balance performance and timeliness of product launch.
PAMiF Content to Increase in 5G RF Front End Driven by Upload EnhancementsMarch 13, 2020So much of what is talked about surrounding 5G connectivity has been focused on the download side of the network. While it is true that there are ever-evolving improvements to pump data from the cell tower to the devices faster such as carrier aggregation, higher order modulation and 4x4 MIMO, little attention has been paid to improving the uplink channel [from device to network]. Within the 3GPP Release 15 [which marked the official launch of 5G New Radio (NR)], a key design requirement of the new wireless standard calls for the implementation of MIMO on both network and devices. For example, 5G smartphones using the globally common TDD band N78 (3.5GHz), will be required to have 4x4 MIMO connectivity and fast antenna switches to perform SRS (Sounding Reference Signal) built within the 5G RFFE . The reliance of wider bandwidths of higher frequencies in 5G NR has forced the design decision to implement download enhancements [as RF propogation becomes more challenged as radio wavelengths decrease]. This inherent physical limitation of path loss dictates the use of massive MIMO antennas on the network infrastructure side as well as 4x4 MIMO on the device. In this article, we will discuss how this new 5G RFFE design challenge means for the RF components ecosystem; specifically, the additional use of PAMiFs (power amplifier module with integrated filters).Subscribers Only
Both MediaTek and Qualcomm scores 5G design firsts in latest Oppo Reno3 & Reno3 Pro 5G.March 10, 2020We are now well into 2020 and second-generation 5G devices are arriving onto the market with newer and less expensive designs. This industry trend of democratizing 5G and getting the technology into more consumers’ hands has been a trend Omida has predicted since the arrival of commercial 5G components few years earlier. Armed with new integrated 5G SoC chipsets from MediaTek and Qualcomm, smartphone OEMs now have more tools at their disposal to drive hardware costs down and deliver 5G capabilities down segment. In this article, we will focus on a pair of 5G devices from Oppo under the Reno label.Subscribers Only
Snapdragon 865 is the missing piece of the puzzle for Qualcomm's 2nd generation 5G smartphone designDecember 04, 2019On the second day of Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Tech Summit happening this week in Maui, the specifications of the next flagship 5G mobile platform was disclosed to the media and analyst community. While the second generation X55 5G modem has been a known entity for some time now, it was ultimately an incomplete discrete solution or thin modem chip. In combination with Qualcomm’s modular 5G RF Front End...
No, Huawei has not completely designed out US parts from the latest Mate 30 [not just yet]December 03, 2019Several press outlets have reported that Huawei had managed to design out completely critical US components from their latest Mate 30 smartphone design. Components from companies such as Qualcomm, Skyworks and Qorvo to name a few. However, in a teardown analysis of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G, IHS Markit has discovered that this claim is technically incorrect, but the thematic arc of the news story still holds true.
Current State of Competitive 5G ModemsFebruary 19, 2019As wireless industry start 2019, we will now see a new batch of competitive 5G solutions offered by the likes of Intel, Mediatek, Samsung LSI and HiSilicon poise to challenge the leading position of Qualcomm.Subscribers Only
Taking the Complexity out of LTE Radio Front End Designs; Qualcomm offers Smartphone OEMs Pre-Baked RFFE SolutionsJuly 23, 2018As the smartphone industry passes its decade-long run being the most popular consumer electronics of all time, the market is beginning to see signs of maturation and slowdown. Smartphone OEMs are now competing on innovations in form factor (i.e. the move to larger and bezel-less displays), cameras (i.e. biometric sensors and computational photography) as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) services...
Whitepaper: Taking the Complexity out of LTE Radio Front End DesignsJuly 23, 2018As the smartphone industry passes its decade long run as the most popular consumer electronics of all time, the market is beginning to see signs of maturation and slowdown. ...Subscribers Only
Will clouds of consolidation rain on the semiconductor industry’s parade of innovation?January 19, 2018This past November Broadcom Limited submitted an unsolicited bid for rival semiconductor supplier Qualcomm in what would be the largest acquisition in semiconductor industry history. Broadcom offered to acquire Qualcomm for...
Antenna Tuning Impacts Entire Smartphone Ecosystem: Enabling a new wave of Innovation and seeding the 5G FutureNovember 02, 2017Over the past couple of years the smartphone has undergone many technological transitions. New technologies have emerged within the smartphone to help enable improved performance with longer battery...
天线调谐对智能手机生态系统产生的影响：掀起新一轮创新浪潮，播种5G未来November 02, 2017在过去的几年里，智能手机经历了多次技术转型。智能手机中出现的新技术提高了电池寿命；激发了工业设计的创新。智能手机内部常作为设备特性列出的应用和基带处理器引人瞩目，而其他部分的进步却鲜为人知。
The Pixel 2 sets the standard for smartphone photography, but will it spark a new trend?October 25, 2017On October 4th Google announced its latest iteration of flagship smartphones with the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL. Like the name suggests, the XL model is a larger form-factor with a bigger battery, a larger screen with...
Apple LTE Smartwatch Benefits Qualcomm and Other SuppliersOctober 11, 2017Last month Apple announced the latest addition to its smartwatch portfolio. The Apple Watch Series 3 is the company’s first to include a cellular enabled option in addition to the more traditional Wi-Fi/Bluetooth flavor. In this...
Envelope Tracking ICs: Increasing Power Efficiency and Other Benefits to the Mobile EcosystemSeptember 27, 2017The battery life of a smartphone is under attack. The Lithium polymer battery in a smartphone simply hasn’t been able to keep up with the growing requirements of demanding users. Increasing screen sizes and...
包络追踪芯片: 能效提升以及对移动通信生态系统的额外福利September 27, 2017智能手机的电池续航能力持续受到挑战。智能手机中的锂聚合物电池容量无法满足重度用户不断增长的需求。持续增长的屏幕尺寸和越来越多的应用场景如在线视频，以及基于摄像头和导航的应用给移动设备的电池续航时间带来越来越大的压力...
Integration and Technology Innovation Provide Opportunity and Drive Mobile RF Front End to new HighsAugust 10, 2017The smartphone is one of the most widespread and versatile devices in the modern world. It has gained immense popularity over the past decade, and now acts as a primary interface with the digital world. In some cases...