World’s first RF front end module with filter for WiFi 7 Access Points
Broadcom has launched an integrated front end module (FiFEM) for WiFi 7 access point (AP) applications, spanning routers, residential gateways, and enterprise APs.
The FiFEM devices incorporates FBAR filter technology to boost 5GHz and 6GHz band coexistence and low in-band insertion loss while significantly reducing the bill of materials (BOM) at the RF front end. Additionally, the devices have non-linear power amplifier (PA) design optimized for Broadcom’s WiFi SoC Digital Predistortion (DPD) operation, enabling up to 40% reduction in RF front-end power.
The availability of the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi has unlocked new opportunities for businesses and consumers across the globe through faster speed, lower latency, and higher capacity. To date, more than 60 countries have opened the 6GHz band for WiFi use providing the airspace for connected WiFi 6E and WiFi 7 devices to maximize their capabilities.
The FBAR technology manufactured in the US was a key reason for Apple to stay with Broadcom for smartphone handsets.
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“Broadcom has shipped billions of highly integrated RFFE modules to the cellular market. Our WiFi 7 FiFEM devices leverage this deep integration expertise via our FBAR and high efficiency PA technology,” said Youngwoo Kwon, senior vice president and general manager of the Wireless Semiconductor Division at Broadcom. “We’re excited to contribute to the widespread deployment of WiFi 7 systems with our industry-leading performance, low power, high efficiency 5GHz and 6GHz FiFEM devices.”
With the growing adoption of 6 GHz Wi-Fi in the market, the coexistence of 5GHz and 6GHz signals is a critical consideration for WiFi 6E and WiFi 7 AP designs. Further, the power dissipation in the 5GHz and 6 GHz RF chains can be substantial, especially in a conventional tri-band 4×4 Wi-Fi AP system where RF power can reach 10 Watts per band.
With RF filter integration and adaptive DPD, Broadcom’s FiFEM devices are highly optimized for WiFi 7 AP systems delivering unprecedented size, performance, and efficiency.
The integration of the second generation Wi-Fi FBAR filter boosts the band isolation and efficiency and reduces RF BOM and board space while avoiding yield loss from external filter mismatch. This is the first non-linear FEM qualified for Broadcom’s Wireless FEM Active Management (WiFAM) Gen2 using advanced DPD technology with dynamic bias handling
The FEM is qualified to meet WiFi 7 AP system specs with BCM6726/BCM67263 SoC reference designs and there are four products in a conventional FEM package measuring 3×5 mm2
“Last year, the market for Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 infrastructure devices like Access Points, Routers and broadband equipment that supports Wi-Fi was just over two million units. Over the next five years, we expect consumer and enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure device shipments to exceed 300M units. We expect the total market opportunity for Wi-Fi infrastructure devices over the same time frame to approach 1.5B units,” said Chris DePuy, technology analyst at 650 Group.
“As enterprises and consumers seek to upgrade their Wi-Fi experience, much of this billion-plus unit market will transition to support 5 and 6GHz RF capabilities.”
Broadcom has begun shipping samples of the AFEM-W750 and AFEM-W760 to its early access customers and partners.