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29 November 2012

Compact, integrated antenna tuners adopted for smartphones

Compact, integrated antenna tuners shipped into several popular smartphones in 2011, but this represented just the first of a wave of such tuners from Peregrine Semiconductor, RF Micro Devices and others, according to the report ‘Outlook for Active Antennas & Tunable Components in Cellular Phones’ from market research firm Strategy Analytics. The report reviews the prospects for tunable RF components, comparing the different approaches and suppliers, and provides an upbeat forecast of the market through 2017.

“Mobile devices that support 4G, 3G and 2G in multiple bands have complex RF front-ends, with compromises in antenna performance that can degrade calls, as Apple learned last year,” says Christopher Taylor, director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components market research service. “Tunable components can reduce dropped calls and improve battery life, while simplifying the cellphone,” he adds.

“Antennas with tunable impedance match will emerge as an important piece of the cell-phone RF front-end, and we expect antenna specialists including Ethertronics and Skycross, in combination with front-end component suppliers including Skyworks, RFMD, Avago Tech, TriQuint and Murata, to compete aggressively in this segment using GaAs, CMOS, RF MEMS and voltage-dependent dielectric variable capacitor technologies,” says Eric Higham, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor market research service.

“The new ‘antenna tuner’ product category will bring success to some new entrants such as WiSpry and inevitably shake up the existing order among cell-phone RF front-end component vendors,” forecasts Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies group.

Tags: Strategy Analytics


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