Forefront raises £1.5m for 5G filter chip

August 12, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Forefront raises £1.5m for 5G filter chip
Forefront in Cambridge has raised £1.5m for its Adaptive Passive Cancellation (APC) that replaces filters in 5G and cellular IoT applications

Forefront RF, a Cambridge-based fabless semiconductor startup, has raised seed funding of £1.5m for its passive RF cancellation technology.

The startup is commercialising research from the University of Bristol by Dr Leo Laughlin and is chaired by Phil O’Donovan, managing director of Bluetooth specialist CSR.

The Adaptive Passive Cancellation (APC) technology software control to continually adjust the operation of the passive circuits to cancel out interference from the transceiver. The APC circuits can be tuned over a wide frequency range, removing the need for a bank of switched SAW and BAW crystal filters. This reduces the space and cost taken by the RF front end in smartphones, wearables, and IoT devices and can work across frequency bands in 4G, 5G and even 6G.

“The growth in mobile networks driven by the ever-increasing demand for data means that available frequency bands vary from region to region and, using today’s technology, has driven the need for region-specific Smartphone variants each including multiple RF components. The space consumed within each Smartphone adds cost and leads to inefficiencies in the supply chain,” said Laughlin.

The initial £1.5 million investment was led by Bristol-based Science Creates Ventures and includes Foresight Williams Technology, BGF, and The Cambridge Angels. This will enable Forefront RF to recruit the world-class team necessary to accelerate the launch of its products.

“We are extremely impressed by the Forefront RF team and their technology, and are delighted to be working with them and our co-investors. Together, we will enable the company to accelerate its impact on this important global industry,” said Harry Destecroix, General Partner at Science Creates Ventures in Bristol.

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