This post is an update to my previous article Resonant 5G Development Update so if you haven’t checked it out yet I would recommend giving it a look. (Resonant 5G Development Update - Michael Wolman)
This morning, Resonant Inc released data which was presented at IEEE 2018 International Ultrasonics Symposium. This announcement gives us a glimpse into the development of their 5G-targeted filter technology called XBAR. I believe that valuable insights can be made from this report once we strip away some of the technical jargon.
“The new discovery is important because resonators form the building blocks for RF filters and define much of the performance achievable in a filter. Resonant’s XBAR is a new bulk acoustic wave (BAW) structure that can be produced in silicon using standard processes. Simulated utilizing the company’s ISN platform, we believe XBAR outperforms best-in-class film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) devices in frequencies above 3 GHz. 5G wireless services for mobile devices are expected to operate in this higher frequency range to support high-bandwidth data applications. Today’s filter technologies (surface acoustic wave (SAW), temperature compensated SAW (TC-SAW), BAW and FBAR) have operating limitations at frequencies higher than 3 GHz.
Key performance metrics demonstrated in initial XBAR resonators:
Extremely large coupling coefficients, greater than 500 MHz at 5 GHz
Essential for the design of large bandwidth 5G filters
High Q resonances, greater than 500, as high as 31 GHz
“5G technology holds the promise of brand new consumer and business services, but the requirements for filters to support high frequency, high power and high bandwidth are quite different from those of 4G. Performance of these new services will be hampered without the right filter technology that allows mobile devices to isolate the high-frequency signals,” said Bob Hammond, Chief Technology Officer of Resonant. “With XBAR BAW resonators, we are on a path to providing an alternative filter technology that will facilitate high-performance services for mobile devices.”
Developed with Infinite Synthesized Network®
Resonant developed the new resonator using its Infinite Synthesized Network® (ISN®) design technology, which today provides industry leading filter manufacturers and fabless companies with the ability to design complex filters, duplexers and quadplexers.
“Utilizing Resonant’s ISN tool’s accuracy for modeling acoustic wave structures allowed Resonant technologists to investigate alternatives to current mobile resonator structures and compare their performance,” said George Holmes, Chief Executive Officer of Resonant. “It is through the continued development of our ISN roadmap that we have been able to complete the investigation and develop and patent the XBAR technology.”
Resonant has measured the performance of XBAR resonators up to 38 GHz. The simulated performance accurately models the measured data, indicating that XBAR technology could be used to develop filters for devices used in 5G, both in the 3 to 6 GHz range as well as millimeter wave operating at 28 GHz and higher frequencies.
If successful, XBAR should provide for filter designs for 5G bands with better insertion loss, better rejection levels, higher power handling and wider passbands than currently available filters.”
The backbone of Resonant has always been their software platform called Infinite Synthesized Networks. This software has allowed them to achieve bands and frequencies with SAW and TC-SAW which were once thought to be unachievable. This technology has allowed Resonant to bring cheaper, more complex designs to market faster than traditional design methods. With the versatility of the ISN platform, it’s clear that the next step for this company is to dive head-first into the massive 5G opportunity that is quickly presenting itself to the filter industry. I believe that this announcement outlines the ability of the Resonant team to apply their disruptive software to 5G filter design which has allowed them to stay ahead of the competition. The results of these tests indicate that they have been successful in simulating a design for a 5G BAW filter which outperforms best-in-class FBAR solutions available at frequencies higher than 3GHz. I expect prototyping to wrap up sometime in 2019 presenting Resonant with a clear path to success in an industry where the demand for cost-effective filter design solutions is explosively growing.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the StockTwits investment community. Their continued support and insights which have been invaluable to my research and writing.
Disclosure: I am/we are long RESN.