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Broadcom AFEM-8092 System-in-Package in the Apple iPhone Xs/Xr Series

  • ID: 4770535
  • Report
  • February 2019
  • Region: Global
  • 167 Pages
  • System Plus Consulting
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Second Generation of Mid/High Band Front-End Module with Advanced and Innovative Packaging


  • Apple
  • Avago
  • Broadcom
  • MORE

For the second year, Apple has decided to adopt innovative technology in the radio-frequency (RF) area. In its flagships the company is using the latest and most advanced filter and packaging technology from Broadcom, formerly Avago Technologies, in all new versions of the iPhone, the Xs, Xs max and Xr models. This Front End Module (FEM) is the first to include a flip-chip power amplifier on GaAs substrate and advanced Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) shielding, allowing frequency band sharing in the same System-in-Package (SiP).

In 2018, Broadcom has supplied several versions of the iPhone with the same module. Located on the main board in different configuration, the AFEM-8092 from Broadcom was found in the Apple iPhone Xs Max, Xs and Xr. Like its predecessor, the AFEM-8072, the AFEM-8092 is a Mid and High band Long Term Evolution (LTE) FEM. It features several dies: Power Amplifier, Silicon-on-Insulator Switch and Filters. The Filters are still using Avago’s Microcap bonded-wafer Chip Scale Packaging (CSP) technology with Through-Silicon Vias (TSVs) enabling electrical contacts and Scandium Doped Aluminum Nitride (AlScN) as a piezoelectric material.

For this special version, Broadcom has integrated two advanced features. The first is a matching integrated circuit (IC), featuring several passives for antenna matching on a single chip. The second is EMI shielding inside the FEM to reduce interference between the dies. Moreover, Broadcom has decided to integrate the power amplifier in flip-chip configuration. Doing so means that the GaAs dies don’t need TSVs for thermal management any more. Also, the packaging is simpler handling only flip chip dies, as the process doesn’t require wire bonding. Thanks to all these innovations, Broadcom is able to supply a new cost-effective two-in-one component with reduced number of input/output (I/O) connections.

The report contains a complete analysis of the FEM SiP, including a detailed analysis of the matching IC, the filtering dies, the internal and external EMI shielding and the Power Amplifier. The report also features a cost analysis and a price estimation of the component. Finally, it also integrates a comparison with the AFEM-8072, Mid/High band LTE FEMs in the Apple iPhone X, model numbers A1865 and A1902.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • Apple
  • Avago
  • Broadcom
  • MORE

1. Overview/Introduction

2. Broadcom Company Profile

3. Apple iPhone Xs Max – Teardown

4. Market Analysis

5. Physical Analysis

  • Physical Analysis Methodology
  • Package
  • View and dimensions
  • Package opening:
  • Power amplifier, switch, RF IC, filters
  • Package cross-section:
  • Overview, dimensions, substrate, internal and external shielding
  • Package Physical Data Summary
  • Power Amplifier, Switch Die
  • View, dimensions, and markings
  • Die overview and cross-section
  • Matching RFIC Die
  • View, dimensions, and markings
  • Die overview and delayering
  • Die process
  • Die cross-section
  • Filter Dies
  • View, dimensions, opening and markings
  • Die overview:
  • Cap, substrate, cells
  • Die cross-section
  • Sealing frame, anchor, TSV, holes, FBAR structure
  • Filter Physical Data Summary

6. Manufacturing Process Flow

  • Die Process
  • Filter Wafer Fabrication Unit
  • Filter Process Flow
  • Packaging Process Flow

7. Cost Analysis

  • Cost Analysis Overview
  • Main Steps Used in the Economic Analysis
  • Yield Hypotheses
  • Filter Die Cost
  • Front-End (FE) cost
  • Filter wafer Front-End cost per process step
  • Wafer and die cost
  • Matching RFIC Die Cost
  • Front-End (FE) cost
  • Wafer and die cost
  • Packaging and Module Cost

8. Estimated Price Analysis

9. Comparison with previous Mid/High band FEM from Broadcom

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • Apple
  • Avago
  • Broadcom
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown