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Mobile phone RF front end in 5G connector

Time:2019-02-25

In the 5G connector wireless communication, when the RFIC receives the data signal, the data signal received from the antenna is amplified, filtered, and combined, and then the RF data signal is down-converted to baseband, and then the baseband signal is processed; and the RFIC is transmitted. When the signal is used, the baseband below 20 kHz is subjected to up-conversion processing, and converted into a signal in the radio frequency band and then transmitted.

Generally, the mobile phone RF module is composed of three units: wireless receiving, signal synthesis and wireless transmission. The wireless receiving unit is composed of a radio frequency front end, a mixer, an intermediate frequency amplifier and a demodulator; the signal synthesizing part includes a distributor and a lock. The phase loop; the wireless transmitting unit is composed of a power amplifier, an AGC amplifier and a modulator. The internal structure of the mobile phone can be divided into three parts: radio frequency (RF), intermediate frequency (IF) and fundamental frequency (BF). The radio frequency is responsible for receiving and transmitting high frequency signals, and the fundamental frequency is responsible for signal processing and storage. The IF is the intermediate bridge between the RF and the fundamental frequency, so that the signal can be smoothly converted from the high frequency signal to the fundamental frequency signal.

The RF front end is the functional area between the RF transceiver and the antenna of the smartphone. It consists mainly of a power amplifier (PA), a low noise amplifier (LNA), switches, duplexers, filters, and other passive components. Compound semiconductors play a key role in the application and development of core devices including PAs, LNAs, filters, RF switches, and more.


According to the data of the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the sales volume of mobile phones in the world market in 2017 was 1.46 billion units, down 0.5% year-on-year. In 2017, the sales volume in the Chinese market fell by 12%. The capacity of the smartphone market in the world has become saturated, and the future will be smart. Mobile phone shipments will be slightly lower at high levels. From the perspective of China's 2G, 3G and 4G shipments, 4G mobile phone shipments increased rapidly in 2013, and 3G mobile phone shipments decreased. By the end of 2017, the national 4G mobile phone market share has reached 95%.


That is to say, although the smartphone market has now entered the inventory period, the scale of the RF front-end market can maintain a compound annual growth rate of 14% in the next five years. It is estimated that the market size can reach more than 20 billion US dollars by 2022.

According to Yole Development's statistics, the value of the RF front-end chip in the 2G smartphone is 0.9 US dollars, and the value of the RF front-end chip in the 3G smartphone is now 3.4 US dollars. At $6.15, high-end brand LTE smartphones reach $12-15, 17 times the RF front-end chips in 2G smartphones. Mobile radio frequency (RF) front-end modules and components are expected to reach $35 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 14% in 17-23.

The demand for smart phone RF front-end market is huge, and the market scale is growing rapidly. According to Yole Developpement statistics and predictive analysis, the market size of smart phone RF front-end reaches US$10 billion in 2016. It is estimated that the market size will exceed US$22.8 billion in 2022, with an average compound growth rate of 14%. In the subdivided devices of the RF front-end module, the market size of various components will increase to varying degrees.

Among them, the filter market is the largest, from 5.2 billion US dollars in 2016 to 16.3 billion US dollars in 2022, with an average compound annual growth rate of 21%. The vast majority of the filter market is due to increased filter demand and more carrier aggregation filtering requirements; PA and LNA have increased slightly, and the market size has increased from $3.8 billion in 2016 to $4.2 billion in 2022. The 2G/3G market shrinkage will be balanced with the increase in LTE new market. The new noise channel market will continue to grow due to the increase of new antenna channels; the market size of switches will increase from US$1 billion in 2016 to 2022. With an average compound growth rate of 12%, the increase is mainly due to the increase in the total number of antenna channels. The market size of antenna tuners will increase from $36 million in 2016 to $272 million in 2022, with an average compound annual growth rate of 40%.


The traditional mobile phone does not need an antenna tuner, so the inventory market is small. The increase in the future is mainly due to the fact that the antenna space is squeezed under the future trend of the full screen of the mobile phone, and the multi-antenna design will make the antenna space more compact in the future. The antennas all require a tuner to achieve acceptable communication performance.

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