I really like the paper written by Strategy Analytics on CMOS PAs vs GaAs-based PAs. Following the announcement of Qualcomm’s RF360 at the Mobile World Congress, shares of GaAs PA suppliers like Skyworks, Triquint and RFMD took a beating. I believe this is a knee jerk reaction from investors despite initial reports of performance results from OEMs who sampled Qualcomm’s first CMOS PAs. In any event, everyone is watching Qualcomm’s move and despite being unproven, it paves the way for eventually acceptance and adoption of CMOS based PAs down the road.
Qualcomm was selling a high level of integration, low power consumption and the ability to support all seven cellular bands including LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WCDMA, EV-DO, CDMA 1x, TD-SCDMA and GSM/Edge standards. In addition, it also included envelop tracking and antenna tuning in the RF360 product. This will likely push the other PA vendors to push for higher level of integration as well as innovate to remain competitive. This is indeed an exciting time for RF front ends and I believe this will bring about greater integration and better performing handsets in the future
- Qualcomm Announced RF360 LTE Chipset (goandroid.co.in)
- Qualcomm Promises to Fix Global LTE Mess with RF Solution (phonescoop.com)