Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Cell Phone Antenna Woes Cured by Radio Frequency RF#MEMS

RF-MEMS uses tiny mechanical switches, filters and other radio frequency front-end replacements that can be dynamically tuned in realtime to compensate for mobile user reception woes causes by antenna interference. Look for improved reception for #Apple #iPhone and other #smartphone models adding RF-MEMS chips in 2011 creating a quarter-billion dollar market by 2014. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

The iSuppli global market revenue forecast for RF MEMS switches and varactors from 2006 to 2014.

Here is what iSuppli says about RF-MEMS: Help may be on the way for iPhone 4 users frustrated by dropped calls with the arrival of Radio Frequency Microelectromechanical Systems (RF MEMS), semiconductors that can improve the performance of antennas in cell phones...Long plagued by technological hurdles and other disappointing setbacks, RF MEMS are finally ready for the big time, with revenue projected to double in 2010 and more than triple in 2011. From slightly less than $4 million in 2006, global RF MEMS revenue is anticipated to climb to $8.1 million this year—and then surge to $27.9 million in 2011...By 2014, revenue will reach a whopping $223.2 million.

Arrays of tuning capacitors that can by dynamically switched in and out of circuits tune a cell phone's antenna in realtime to improve reception and mitigate dropped calls.

Although other technologies will address antenna issues, including SoS FETs and BST varactors, MEMS deliver the best performance in terms of insertion loss...Seven firms are sampling RF MEMS...California-based WiSpry Inc. and Japan’s TDK-Epcos are offering RF MEMS for high-volume cell phone applications. On another front, U.S. firms Analog Devices Inc., Radant Technologies Inc. and XCOM Wireless Inc.—in cooperation with relay manufacturer Teledyne Technologies Inc.—as well as Japanese supplier Omron Corp. are targeting high-end applications for testing and instrumentation such as ATE and RF test. U.S. startups Radant MEMS and MEMtronics focus on defense applications...In particular, interest is growing among mobile handset manufacturers on how RF MEMS can be used for the front-end tuning of cell phones to improve antenna performance, given the advent of new wireless standards like LTE for 4G technology. WiSpry—which has garnered several design wins for its MEMS varactors...
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