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Broadcom Launches Wi-Fi RF FEM with Integrated Wi-Fi 7 Access-Point Filtering

June 12, 2023
The combination of the FiFEM device and Broadcom’s Wi-Fi SoCs promises high efficiency with up to 40% reduction in RF front-end-module power dissipation.

The Overview

Broadcom’s FBAR integrated front-end module (FiFEM) for Wi-Fi access-point (AP) applications span Wi-Fi routers, residential gateways, and enterprise access points (APs). The FiFEM devices incorporate second-generation FBAR filter technology to provide superior 5- and 6-GHz band coexistence and low in-band insertion loss while significantly reducing the bill of materials (BOM) at the RF front end.

Who Needs It & Why?

To date, more than 60 countries have opened the 6-GHz band for Wi-Fi use, providing spectrum for connected Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 devices to maximize their capabilities. With the growing adoption of 6-GHz Wi-Fi in the market, the coexistence of 5- and 6-GHz signals are a critical consideration for Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 AP designs. Thus, designers of Wi-Fi APs will find broad applicability for Broadcom’s FiFEM products.

Under the Hood

The FiFEM’s integration of Broadcom’s second-generation Wi-Fi FBAR filter delivers high 5/6-GHz band isolation and efficiency and avoids potential yield loss due to mismatched external filters. Further, power dissipation in 5- and 6-GHz RF chains can be substantial, especially in a conventional tri-band 4x4 Wi-Fi AP system where RF power can reach 10 W/band. The FiFEM device is the first nonlinear FEM qualified for Broadcom’s Wireless FEM Active Management (WiFAM) Gen2 technology using advanced digital predistortion (DPD) technology with dynamic bias handling. Between the RF filter integration and DPD features, the FiFEM devices are highly optimized for Wi-Fi 7 APs.

In addition, the devices feature a high-performance, nonlinear power amplifier (PA) design optimized for Broadcom’s Wi-Fi SoC DPD operation, enabling up to 40% reduction in RF front-end power. This enhances gateway energy efficiency in terms of average power consumption

The FiFEM family comprises four products in conventional FEM packages (3×5 mm2):

  • AFEM-W750-MP1 (5 GHz, +23 dBm)
  • AFEM-W750-HP1 (5 GHz, +25 dBm)
  • AFEM-W760-MP1 (6 GHz, +23 dBm)
  • AFEM-W760-HP1 (6 GHz, +25 dBm)

Broadcom has begun shipping samples of the AFEM-W750 and AFEM-W760 to early access customers and partners.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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