One of the key components to any wireless system is the ability to detect the required frequency and ensure a clean signal with a stable connection. In order to do this, especially with Radio Frequency connections such as those in cell phones, a variety of filters are needed for specific frequency selection. Today Qualcomm is announcing that it has made a new breakthrough in its RF filter design through a novel thin film technology.

The new technology allows Qualcomm to produce filters from 0.6 GHz to 2.7 GHz (i.e. LTE) with better efficiency / lower power per bit than in previous generations. Qualcomm states a quality factor of over 5000, which it rates as market leading. With the new filters, Qualcomm is claiming a 0.8-1.0 dB better signal detection clarity than competing technologies. The example Qualcomm gives is the signal performance on Band 40:

Here QC is showing the signal loss for Band 40 transmission between 2290 and 2400 MHz – while the standard requires around 1.5 dB loss, competing technologies can achieve up to 1-1.2 dB loss, while Qualcomm can achieve under 1 dB loss across the whole range, with gains up to 0.8 dB in places, especially at the edges where signal can be at its weakest.

It’s worth noting that the x-axis in this graph isn’t linear – it appears the two middle values have been swapped for some reason.

With the new thin film technology, Qualcomm also claims that it can provide Wi-Fi isolation filters and suppression than the competition.

We’re not expecting Qualcomm to announce when it is using the new technology in its next generation products – to be honest I’m even surprised Qualcomm is making this announcement given the context of what would be Mobile World Congress. Technically there is another event this week in San Francisco, the International Solid State Conference, where this is the sort of thing that would be presented, however I can’t find a paper set to be presented at that conference that includes this. If Qualcomm are ready to commercialize its new thin film technology, which may explain this.

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  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Would we expect this to show up in Apple's next generation phone?
  • SydneyBlue120d - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Apple try to use as less as possible from Qualcomm.
  • FreckledTrout - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Why I asked :) However they did sign a multiple year contract so who knows.
  • ksec - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    If this were posted in any of the Apple forum, you will get their Fans suggesting Qualcomm are not innovative, bully and price gouging.

    And if ( and that is a big if ) Qualcomm's number are true, I think this is quite an achievement in terms of radio performance "just" on your cell phone.
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Freakin' Qualcomm and their latest non-innovation that no one cares about and means nothing to anyone. They are going to price gouge and bully Apple into using this worthless junk! I love Steve Jobs forever and I hope someady Apple can gene-engineer a clone because if Steve were here he wouldn't take this anti-competitive crap laying down.
  • niva - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Apple is free to come up with a better solution on their own and I'm sure when that happens they won't charge their customers a premium for it.
  • - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    This is not a ego “rant” site. There are plenty of dedicated android sites for fan mail. Grow up.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - link

    Sometimes I wish I didn't have to explain the joke, but for ahem...high density folks like yourself, I'll at lease give you a hint. Read the post above mine. Then read mine. Repeat the process a few times if needed and it might eventually make sense. If you still don't get it and want to be offended, then go for it and enjoy that life of yours where the dots never get connected to one another.
  • brucethemoose - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    I sold a particularly stubborn person on a phone upgrade because it would get them better service, as they had no idea that was a benefit beforehand.

    "More (LTE) bars" is a huge selling point for a new phone. If Qualcomm started advertising that more prominantly than absurd peak bandwidth numbers, I think it would move a lot more chips...
  • ksec - Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - link

    Interesting thought. I am starting to wonder if Qualcomm could do something like Qualcomm inside like Intel inside campaign.

    I dont know any average consumers cares much about the CPU speed, all they know is newer and faster. But literally every consumers cares about their reception. If Qualcomm can try to sell that with an All in One Package from Modem to RF Filters they could win lots more consumer mind set.

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