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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.