The company is expanding its RFFE capabilities into arenas other than mobile devices.
Qualcomm has both a new Radio Frequency Front-End (RFFE) Connectivity Solutionlike Wi-Fi 7 Front-End Modules with the aim of extending RFFE capabilities to just smartphones. The improvements are expected to extend the company’s RFFE connections to the automotive sector, XRPCs, wearables, mobile broadband and IoT arenas.
“With Qualcomm Technologies’ new products, we are extending our RFFE leadership into automotive and IoT, enabling OEMs to address their massive industry-specific challenges such as development costs and scalability,” said Christian Block, senior vice president and general manager, RFFE, Qualcomm Germany RFFE GmbH. “OEMs using our solutions can design products with higher performance, longer battery life and shorter commercialization time, ultimately accelerating the pace of innovation and delivering a better consumer experience.”
Qualcomm’s New RFFE Capabilities
Due to the major shift to hybrid and remote work models, Qualcomm identified the need for improved Wi-Fi capacity for both employees and organizations. This need for enhanced Wi-Fi has led to design challenges within the RF space that the company addresses through Front End Module (FEM) design and through the use of high-performance band-pass filters. This additionally increased the need for high performance RF connectivity solutions and dealing with roadblocks such as “higher frequencies, wider bandwidths and simultaneous use of RF or concurrency with 5G and Wi-Fi,” Qualcomm said.
As a result of addressing these demands and challenges, the company has unveiled its third-generation connectivity FEMs for Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth, and automotive-grade Wi-Fi FEMs for automotive applications. This development is expected to lead to both faster speeds and lower latency for Wi-Fi applications that specifically support Web 3 features such as: AR†VRgaming and the metaverse†
The new FEMs are expected to support not only the needs of mobile technologies, but also those of mobile broadband, wireless infrastructure, network applications and PCs for business users. This would also allow OEMs to take advantage of lower costs, higher energy efficiency and peak performance.
According to Qualcomm, the new FEMs are expected to be launched in the second half of this year.
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Wi-Fi 7 Front-End Modules
These new RFFE modules aim to enhance the experiences of Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth users. This is achieved by combining essential mechanisms between the Wi-Fi baseband chip and antennas with the stated goal of optimal wireless transmission. In turn, manufacturers will be able to use the modules to quickly and economically develop Wi-Fi client devices. The modules themselves will have 5G/Wi-Fi coexistence capabilities to increase unified capabilities around the two connections, improving wireless performance on mobile devices.
From a hardware perspective, the modules are expected to work alongside Qualcomm’s line of Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth systems such as the FastConnect 7800 and the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF for use with wireless edge devices such as Snapdragon Connect†
These modules are currently being tested by customers and are expected to be offered in the second half of 2022 as well.