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Qualcomm 60GHz WiGig/WiFi 802.11ad Chipset World’s First Smartphone Edition

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3 490 EUR
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Early glimpse of very compact form millimeter-wave chipset commercially available for handset applications.

2018 is a turning point for 5G communications. All players have done several studies on huge data rates using millimeter wave (mmWave) compared to current technologies. Today, manufacturers are focusing on backhaul applications with high power and no voltage limitation. But the next steps – such as handset applications – are gaining attention as integration will have several issues to solve, including chip implementation, packaging technology, antennae placement and heat management. Using the 60GHz band, the IEEE has licensed a Wi-Fi 802.11 protocol, known as WiGig. Today, a few routers and only one commercially available smartphone use this protocol, providing an early glimpse of 5G mobile capability and using Qualcomm’s chipset.

This complete solution has been designed for smartphones, especially for ASUS. The module, integrated in the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro, comes with two systems linked by a coaxial connection. Both Systems-in-Packages (SiPs) use non-conventional double-sided molded packaging developed by Murata. One is integrated on the main board and the other features innovative antennae integrated into an organic PCB. The latter SiP integrates almost 20 antennae, a radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) die, thermal management and isolation solution, all in a single package smaller than 40mm².

Developed by Wilocity, which has been a Qualcomm subsidiary since 2014, the RFIC fea- tures up to four transceivers controlling up to 32 antennas, both patch and dipole, for beamforming at 60GHz. Both SiPs have very thin confined PCB substrates and embedded copper pillars realizing the signal distribution structure. This first integration of such a mmWave device in a handset shows the full compatibility of this SiP technology that could answer 5G integration issues.

This report includes a full investigation of the system, featuring a detailed study of the SiPs and the antenna board including die analyses, processes and board cross-sections. It contains a complete cost analysis and a selling price estimation of the system. Finally, it features an exhaustive comparison with the Qualcomm QCA9500, which is dedicated to routers or mobile computers.

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Company profile and WiGig technology

ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro Teardown

Market Analysis

Physical Analysis

  • Physical analysis methodology
  • Module analysis
    • Module view and dimensions
    • Module marking and block diagram
  • Main board and Antenna Board analysis
    • Board overview
    • Board bill of material
    • Board cross-section
  • Baseband and Antenna SiP analysis
    • Package view and dimensions
    • Package X-Ray: antennae placement and connection
    • Package opening: copper pillar, bill of material
    • Package cross-section: PCB, copper pillar, dimensions
    • Package process analysis
  • Die analysis: Baseband processor and RFIC
    • Die view and dimensions
    • Die delayering and main block ID
    • Die cross-section
    • Die process
  • Die analysis: Current and voltage regulator, memory
    • Die view and dimensions
    • Die cross-section
    • Die process
  • Physical analysis comparison
    • SiP vs discrete
    • Femtocell vs. smartphones application: system, size and features, antennae

Manufacturing process flow

  • Die fabrication unit: Baseband processor, RFIC
  • Packaging fabrication unit
  • SiP package process flow

Cost Analysis

  • Overview of the cost analysis
  • Supply chain description
  • Yield hypotheses
  • Die cost analyses: Baseband processor, RFIC
    • Front-end cost
    • Wafers and die costs
  • Baseband and Antenna SiP Package cost analysis
    • Baseband and antenna SiP front-end cost
    • Baseband and antenna SiP cost by process step
  • Final test cost
  • Final assembly
  • Component cost

Estimated Price Analysis


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