Alpha Industries Inc has announced plans to co-operate with Munich-based Epcos AG in development of integrated switch/filter modules for wireless handsets
Alpha Industries will provide radio-frequency semiconductors while Epcos will supply surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters for a new series of modules.
"Consistent with our strategy to provide highly integrated RF modules for the mobile phone market, we have partnered with Epcos to develop technology that dramatically enhances module performance and manufacturability," said David Aldrich, president and CEO of Alpha Industries. The alliance is part of Alpha's efforts to lead the industry in RF front-end solutions, he added.
The Woburn-based company is pursuing a product roadmap based on the Alpha Integration Platform--known as "aiIP"--which is a technology for design, simulation, packaging, and testing of RF modules with integrate multiple functions. In May, Alpha announced it was making available the world's first tri-band power amplifier module employing indium gallium phosphide (InGaP) heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs).
Epcos has developed low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC), which has become a major integration medium for passive and active RF components, said Alpha Industries.
Under the joint-development pact, the two companies plan to create switch/filter modules that include control logic circuitry, switching and transmit/receive filtering. Initially, modules will be developed for dual-band GSM (Global System for Mobile) handsets, followed by other integrated modules for tri-band units. The first modules are scheduled to be shipped by September.
"Combining switch and filter products into a single, easy-to-use LTCC package offers OEMs shorter design lead times and enhanced functionality, enabling them to reduce time-to-market for their newest handset models," Aldrich said. "These devices expand our technology base and create new market opportunities for Alpha in Europe and other major wireless markets around the globe.
"Ultimately, we see a competitive advantage in our ability to produce modules that occupy a smaller footprint and provide longer battery life and better overall RF performance than competing technologies," he added.