Qualcomm Technologies is on a mission to bring affordable LTE smartphones to the masses. Along with the newly announced entry-level Snapdragon 210 processor, Qualcomm Technologies also revealed the next wave of RF products—new Qualcomm® RF360™ front-end components including QFE33xx, QFE10xx, and QFE25xx, and new RF transceivers —WTR4905 and WTR2955. This comprehensive suite of mobile processor and RF solutions is designed to support the growth of LTE and LTE Advanced carrier aggregation across LTE tiers.
So what is the new in Qualcomm RF360?
The next generation of RF front-end components is built on the success of QFE1100 Envelope tracking, QFE15xx antenna matching tuner, and QFE23xx integrated power amplifier and antenna switch—all of which are now commercial on numerous mainstream LTE devices. The recently launched Amazon Fire smartphone was the first device to include all three components of Qualcomm RF360. The next generation of RF360 products comprises:
- QFE3320: Next-gen integrated power amplifier (PA) and antenna switch (AS)
- QFE33xx Power amplifiers and QFE10xx antenna switches: New modular PA/AS architecture
- QFE25xx: Next-gen antenna matching tuner
Note that all of the above components are still compatible with QFE1100, the industry’s first modem-assisted envelope tracking technology for 3G/4G LTE mobile devices.
Why is the next generation RF360 better?
As LTE Advanced carrier aggregation has gained global momentum with LTE Category 6 deployments in newer and wider radio frequency bands, the number of CA band combinations used by operators in different regions in the world has exploded. The next-generation RF360 solution is designed to address this band fragmentation problem by offering a flexible RF front end that can meet regional and global CA requirements of LTE Advanced.
QFE3320— the cost-effective integrated regional CA solution and QFE3335/45 (low/mid band PA), QFE1035/45 (low/mid band switch)—the modular global CA solution, both support a higher number of bands and CA band combinations as compared to current solution while taking up smaller board area by going to a wafer scale package. Both solutions also utilize QFE1040 (receive diversity antenna switch), which allows simplified RF routing for the additional diversity receiver. QFE25xx chipsets are designed to meet higher performance specifications such as linearity for LTE Advanced CA and feature enhanced modem-assisted control to further improve antenna performance and connection reliability in changing user conditions.
And there is more: Three generations of 28nm RF transceivers
The new RF transceivers offer even more design flexibility for LTE and LTE-A. Together with the high-tier WTR3925, which was the first 28nm commercial RF chip, the new RF chips complete a fully-featured lineup of three generations of 28nm RF Transceivers that can address the needs of LTE and LTE-A carrier aggregation across tiers. The new RF transceivers include:
- WTR4905 – Optimized multimode LTE transceiver that can be paired with volume tier Snapdragon 410 and mid-tier Snapdragon 610 and 615 processors. Representing the 2nd generation of 28 nm CMOS RF transceivers, the WTR4905 is designed for better performance, lower power consumption, and significant area savings as compared to the previous WTR16xx transceivers.
- WTR2955 –Designed for the most affordable LTE/LTE-A tier and part of 3rd generation 28nm CMOS transceivers, WTR2955 pairs with the LTE-A capable Snapdragon 210 processors. It supports Category 4 CA in conjunction with another WTR2955, as well as all major cellular modes and 3GPP bands and an integrated location core with GPS, Glonass, Beidou, and Galileo capabilities. The WTR2955 is an ideal solution for the high volume tier as it can economically scale across 4G LTE and 3G solutions thereby reducing time to launch and development cost.
In addition to these new transceivers, the 2nd generation QFE2101 average power tracker which is optimized for the volume tier, further strengthens the low-end RF product support.
Qualcomm Technologies is pushing the boundaries of mobile RF by expanding its portfolio of RF front end and transceiver products to span across LTE tiers. For more details on individual RF parts, don’t forget to checkout the video, product brief and infographic on our RF solutions website.
The new Qualcomm RF360 front end products are expected to be introduced in the second half of 2014.
The Qualcomm WTR4905 is sampling now. The new Qualcomm WTR2955 will be available 1H 2015.