Circuit & System Protection


World's smallest BAW filter

25 July 2007 Circuit & System Protection

In the market for GSM capable products, modularisation of RF (radio frequency) components is continually progressing, not least of all filters.

Currently, multipackage modules containing RF IC plus a filter are under development. In order to support such modules, the mould must be of a high tolerance and the filter device must have reliability as high as that of the IC. By its very nature, the SAW (surface acoustic wave) filter requires a structure to maintain the cavity space and therefore it is considerably difficult to achieve downsizing and low-profiling of such a device, whilst fulfilling all the above requirements. In an effort to overcome this challenge, the industry has been engaged in the development of a filter utilising FBAR (film bulk acoustic resonator) technology, however there exist many issues with this technology. For instance, the difficulty of realising an unbalanced-input/balanced-output type filter.

Now, Murata has successfully developed a simple, planar-type device by adopting the BAW (boundary acoustic wave), designated the SAFAM series. High tolerance and high reliability of the mould and IC have been achieved, enabling the commercialisation of a filter with all the characteristics of a SAW filter, and is claimed by the manufacturer to be the world's smallest filter.

The filter measures only 0,8 mm x 0,6 mm x 0,365 mm, which is a 69% reduction in surface area compared to other conventional products. As for the terminal area, lead-free solder BGA (ball grid array) is used since it is most suitable for high-density packaging.

When mounting the conventional SAW filter on the IC embedded module, module inspections such as addition of an under-fill were required in order to achieve reliability as high as the IC. However, as this filter is a highly reliable device, the module inspection process can be simplified and the development period may be shortened.

This filter is compliant with GSM850, GSM900 (EGSM), GSM1800 (DCS) and GSM1900 (PCS).



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