The assignee for this patent, patent number 8487715, is Trustees of
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Current telecommunications platforms (such as cell phones) rely on a series of radiofrequency (RF) and intermediate frequency (IF) filters in order to isolate the desired communications band or channel from the crowded and noisy background. Currently, surface acoustic wave (SAW), bulk acoustical wave (BAW), film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) and ceramic filters are the devices of choice. However, in general, these filters are large, bulky, and expensive discrete packaged components that cannot be integrated with the rest of the transceiver architecture. While the front-end module of the transceiver can and does continue to miniaturize with improving lithographic processes and designs, the filter stands as the bottleneck to a truly integrated radio package.
"More and more, a greater number of communications standards (GSM, CDMA, PCS, European/US, UMTS) and features (WiFi, cameras) are being incorporated into a single handset. While this allows for truly global communications, it comes at the cost of a larger and more power-hungry device. Adding more bands and modes means that more and more discrete packages are added onboard, with corresponding increases in overall board size and power consumption due to package-to-package signal losses.
"Therefore, a need exists for a type of filter that is small in size, utilizes minimal power and can be integrated with other discrete electrical elements. In addition, a need exists for banks of these types of filters as well as switches. Moreover, a need exists for filter banks capable of handling multiple bands or channels. Further, the capability of switching between the bands and uplink or downlink channels is also needed."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention discloses a novel bank electromechanical integrated circuit filter and switches at the nanometer scale. The bank of integrated circuit filters includes: a silicon substrate; a sacrificial layer; a device layer including at least two resonators, wherein the at least two resonators include sub-micron excitable elements and wherein the at least two resonators posses a fundamental mode frequency as well as a collective mode frequency and wherein the collective mode frequency of the at least two resonators is determined by the fundamental frequency of the sub-micron elements. At least one switch connects to the bank of integrated circuit filters.
"The use of a nano electromechanical filter of the present invention allows for several advantages, including the ability to integrate such a filter on a semiconductor chip with the rest of the transceiver architecture. Removing the 10-20 discrete filter packages in a typical multimode phone and replacing them with a single IC package is obviously a huge advantage. Additionally, the ability to integrate the filters onto the same chip as the radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) allows for even more space and power savings. It will also allow for a single device to be sensitive to all relevant communications bands. Additionally, such a filter's small size allows for the replacement of the RF/IF heterodyning structure of the modern architecture with a tunable direct-channel-select filtering scheme, encompassing hundreds or thousands of individual filters. This type of filter would necessitate a massive redesign of the RF transceiver, but the dividends would be enormous. Among the advantages would be a fully integrated RF transceiver chip, drastically reducing production costs, RF board space, and power consumption. Additionally, a single RF transceiver would be capable of communicating on any band, in any channel, from 10 MHz up to 100 GHz or more. The transceiver could work in all of the cellular communications bands (GSM, CDMA, PCS, UMTS), wireless data bands (WiFi, EDGE, etc.), peripherals bands (Bluetooth), satellite radio, and GPS
"The following description and drawings set forth in detail a number of illustrative embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are indicative of but a few of the various ways in which the present invention may be utilized."
For more information, see this patent: Mohanty, Pritiraj; Badzey,
Keywords for this news article include: Trustees of
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