Qualcomm Targets More Devices with New RFFE Modules
Qualcomm plans to expand Radio Frequency Front End (RFFE) modules into a broader array of devices. This will happen with the launch of products that support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 6E, and the next-generation standard Wi-Fi 7. In a mobile device, RFFE is essentially the pathway between the antenna and the cellular modem via the transceiver unit.
Christian Block, senior vice president and general manager for RFFE at Qualcomm Germany claims that the vendor reached the top spot in RFFE revenues for handsets and its goal is to become a leader across automotive and IoT markets (including Industrial IoT and Consumer IoT such as XR and wearables). Block predicted 70% of all vehicles would be connected by 2024 while wider IoT growth will be driven by 5G adoption, wireless tablets and PCs, XR devices, wireless fiber, and the onset of Wi-Fi 7 technology.
The RFFE growth opportunity has a 12% CAGR from 2021 to 2024, with revenues increasing from US$17 billion in the former year to $24 billion in the latter, Block noted. The US-based vendor foresees its connectivity chips playing a key role across all modem-to-antenna offerings. Qualcomm claims its new Wi-Fi RFFE modules bring together the key components required between the Wi-Fi baseband chip and antennas to amplify and adapt signals for optimal wireless transmission. OEMs would use those modules to develop Wi-Fi client devices. The new front-end modules are being sampled by customers. Commercial devices featuring the new RFFE modules are slated to launch by the second half of this year.