by Doug Bostrom, Vice President of Engineering, Infrastructure and Defense Products, Qorvo
MPD: How is your company addressing the many constraints that the pandemic has placed on business operations?
Qorvo’s priority during this time has been employee safety and we are operating under enhanced safety protocols to keep our employees and operations safe while supporting our customers. I am proud of and thankful to our teams for maintaining productivity with the new challenges, and for working to define new ways to collaborate.
Due in part to more remote working, we have seen substantial product demand for Qorvo’s Wi-Fi 6 products in both the retail and set-top box markets and we believe a large part of that is due to work-from-home. We are also seeing strong market demand for our wireless base station business to support the ramp up of 5G. We expect continued demand for our connectivity, wireless infrastructure and mobile products as we move into 2021 to support further deployments.
MPD: The adoption of open architectures is accelerating in many markets, from wireless to defense. Do you feel your company and the RF and microwave industry as a whole benefit from this initiative?
We are seeing the adoption of open architecture across several markets and we participate in several open initiatives. Because we provide solutions for so many markets—with many technologies that may intersect in the future —continued innovation and technology development are important for both open and closed architectures. At Qorvo, we are about providing the right technology at the right time for our customers as technology and architectures evolve. This enables our customers to be platform-agnostic so we can work with them on their optimum solutions, which are likely to be a mix of technologies. We remain focused on bringing the best performance and value to our customers, and that will continue to be important.
MPD: Technologies such as direct RF sampling are reducing the number of analog components in receivers and, increasingly, transmitters as well. Do you feel that the “digitalization of RF” will have an impact on your business?
The rate of advancement is exciting and has long been pursued. In several of our product lines, we see this enabling multifunction systems as well as more dynamically aware functions to tune performance in changing conditions. The technologies doing the sampling, waveform generation, etc. still require high performance RF front ends to maximize receiver sensitivity, provide filtering, and efficiently transmit those signals. This becomes increasingly important as multiple types of systems vie to maintain their links and hold data rates in crowded frequency spectrum. Qorvo’s technology portfolio is well aligned to further enable this. This includes low-loss filters such as our BAW edgeBoostTM filters that enhance coexistence and channelizing, and our low-noise amplifiers in GaN, GaAs and silicon which efficiently enable system dynamic range in both narrowband and extremely broadband applications. Finally, our GaN and GaAs power amplifiers provide final transmit powers to complete the transceiver chain with minimal power consumption (high efficiency). We also integrate our products into multifunction modules to enable functionality in small footprints to support high-frequency arrays.