IQepiMo template technology helps improve BAW RF filter performance

Global supplier of advanced semiconductor wafer products and material solutions, IQE plc, has achieved a significant milestone in the development of its IQepiMo™ template technology for high-performance Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) RF Filters. Customer device data shows that filters fabricated using IQE templates demonstrate improved performance when compared to incumbent technology.

Following an announcement in November 2020, IQE has since trialled its IQepiMo™ product with potential customers and partners. Recent data indicates that IQepiMo™ enables customers to achieve improved electromechanical coupling (as measured by k2), a key measure of filter performance, compared with conventional technology.

Initial data indicates k2 increases by as much as 40% at a frequency of 6 GHz, which is at the top end of the frequency range used in current 5G applications. At present, the industry is finding it difficult to achieve high levels of performance using conventional BAW filter technology at these higher frequencies. The data confirms that the superior material quality achievable using IQepiMo™ is linked to significant performance improvement in electromechanical device performance in this challenging frequency range.

IQE and its partners remain engaged in additional trials and testing to further refine this technology for high-end BAW filters. It is expected that IQE’s templates will provide significant benefit to high scandium-content ScAlN BAW designs that will form a key component of high-performance filters at the higher 5G frequencies. As scandium content increases in BAW filters, maintaining high acoustic material quality and thereby performance becomes ever more challenging. IQepiMo™ offers customers a route to overcoming these inherent challenges whilst still using their current infrastructure and processes.

Built on its cREO® technology platform, which was acquired by IQE in March 2018, the IQepiMo™ templates are available in diameters of up to 200 mm.

According to Dr Rodney Pelzel, Chief Technology Officer of IQE, “IQE’s strategy of investing in unique edge materials technologies for the broad semiconductor industry means that we are now at the forefront of providing our customers with improved 5G device performance and solutions. This key milestone for our IQepMo™ template technology shows its potential for providing customers with the necessary means to enable their current infrastructure and processes to deliver the demanding performance required for 5G filters, especially at higher frequencies.”