Not so long ago (September 2013), I had written about the launch of the World’s first mobile Envelope Tracker chip and today, I’m back to write about yet another amazing innovation from Qualcomm Technologies. No, Qualcomm Technologies isn’t entering the music industry, but by launching QFE1510—the first of its kind antenna matching tuner—in the Nokia Lumia 1520, Qualcomm Technologies is proving that it can sing a different tune, namely that of mobile RF front end solutions.
Singing the tune of Mobile RF
Widely recognized for cutting-edge Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors and Qualcomm Gobi™ modems, Qualcomm Technologies is swiftly making a name for itself in the RF front end of mobile devices. Since the announcement of Qualcomm® RF360™ at MWC 2013, the launch of the antenna matching tuner coming soon after the launch of the Envelope Tracker shows that Qualcomm Technologies is well on its way to executing on the RF360 solution. Yes, the antenna matching tuner is a critical component to the performance of Qualcomm RF360, but it is a very capable solution even as a stand-alone product.
Tuner as match maker
Think of the antenna matching tuner as a match-maker who drives an agreement between the antenna and the rest of the RF front end. Just as a suitable agreement benefits both parties, an optimum match between the antenna and the device front end leads to greater advantages for each side. The gains from the antenna matching tuner improve transmit and receive signal performance and extend the range of frequency band support, all without an increase in antenna size or the number of antennas. The RF front end benefits from lower output power leading to improved thermal efficiency and lower power consumption.
Working closely with the modem, which has information about what’s happening outside the RF front end, the antenna matching tuner reacts to changes in the mobile environment that can de-tune the antenna. For instance, if your device switches to a different frequency band during a handover and the antenna is mismatched at the new frequency, the tuner will reconfigure the match and re-tune the antenna back to the desired frequency.
Moreover, advanced modes of operation which are anticipated to launch later this year will allow the tuner to dynamically adapt to changes triggered by user conditions such as hand grip or proximity of device to the head. This dynamic match making will further increase connection reliability even in the presence of blockages and without a need to increase transmit power.
Smaller, flexible antenna – BIG benefits
Device OEMs have many reasons to get excited about the antenna matching tuner. With increased frequency band support on a single compact antenna, OEMs can now design thinner devices that can tune to global cellular frequency bands including the newer LTE bands, all the way from 700 MHz to 2700 MHz. The antenna matching tuner is designed to also allow OEMs to reduce cost and time to launch by minimizing the expensive design cycles needed for manually matching each device front end with its antenna.
As more devices use the QFE1510, you can look forward to sleeker mobile devices that are capable of true global roaming. More important, improved antenna performance will allow you remain connected with more bars no matter where you are. You will also enjoy improved battery life because of lower transmit power and better thermal efficiency enabled by the antenna matching tuner. Last but not least, the antenna matching tuner is designed to let you talk more and surf more with fewer dropped connections.