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RF Acoustic Wave Filters Patent Landscape 2019

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  • October 2019
  • Region: Global
  • Knowmade
  • ID: 4846051

How Will Players Align their IP Strategy with their Technology Developments to Embrace 5G’s Arrival?

This Patent Landscape allows understanding the technology & market from a patent perspective. It enables you to anticipate changes, harvest business opportunities, mitigate risks and make strategic decisions to strengthen your market position and maximize return on your IP portfolio.

Key Features of the Report:

  • PDF >160 slides
  • Excel file >18,500 patents
  • IP trends, including time-evolution of published patents, countries of patent filings, etc.
  • Ranking of main patent assignees
  • Main technologies IP analysis:
    • Temperature-compensated acoustic wave filters
    • Packaging (flip-chip, wafer-level packaging
    • Functions and modules (duplexers, multiplexers)

  • IP players’ key patents
  • Key players’ IP position and relative strength of their patent portfolios
  • IP profile of key players: Murata, TDK, Taiyo Yuden, Skyworks, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Qorvo, Samsung Electro Mechanics, Akoustis, Resonant, Infineon, CETC
  • Excel database containing all patents analyzed in the report, including technology and application segmentations

A second acceleration of AWF-related patenting activity

In 2017, an acceleration of the patenting activity related to acoustic wave filters (AWF) was forecast, whose growth is being driven mostly by the developments of bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filters due to the new opportunities offered by 5G. Indeed, while the SAW-related IP landscape was already well established, the battle to become the next main IP player related to BAW devices was intense. Players like Taiyo Yuden and Broadcom had an advantage thank to their strong former patenting activity, but many smaller IP players had entered the landscape (Akoustis, Resonant, JCAP, etc.) or increased their patenting activity (Qualcomm, RF 360, Qorvo), making them serious IP challengers.

Today, the previous trend is confirmed. Indeed, the SAW-related patent landscape is still dominated by Murata, which has maintained a very high level of patenting activity related to SAW filters and their integration in complex modules. Like in 2017, IP competition is limited, but Skyworks, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, and Qualcomm have perpetuated a fair level of patenting activity and constitute the group of IP challengers. Despite being well established, recent SAW-related patenting activity describes some new trends regarding manufacturing and design of SAW filters. Indeed, in the view of 5G, all IP players involved in the development of SAW filters have started filing patents related to a complex module with a high level of integration. Wafer-level packaging has become a major packaging technology investigated by players. At the same time, IP players have strongly accelerated their patenting activity related to multiplexers that could support carrier aggregation operations. To bolster the development of highly integrated modules, IP players have improved their SAW filter designs. One main solution is the use of thin-film SAW, which reduces the substrate losses and thus increases the resonant frequency while improving thermal stability. This solution, originally developed by Murata, is now also asserted in Kyocera, Qualcomm, and Skyworks patents.

For the BAW-related IP landscape, recent developments are related to device manufacturing. Indeed, to fulfill 5G’s requirements, players are working to improve the electro-mechanical coupling in order to reach high frequency, while keeping low losses and large bandwidth. Among all the players involved in BAW filter development, Broadcom remains the most important. However, these last two years have seen the rise of Qualcomm and the emergence of Samsung Electro Mechanics. These three players drive today’s IP activity related to BAW. However, some smaller IP players such as Akoustis, Infineon, and Resonant have refined their development and now hold interesting IP portfolios.

Analysis of recent dynamics: what has happened in the last two years?

In this report, more than 7,500 patent families (inventions) related to SAW and BAW filters have been manually selected. The report provides a general overview of today’s IP landscape trends and dynamics, as well as specific analysis related to the patenting activity of the last two years. Via manual segmentation, the report delivers an understanding and analysis of the current evolutions of the two key technologies (SAW and BAW). This analysis shows an important difference between SAW and BAW IP activity. Indeed, on one hand, the development of SAW filters has reached a high maturity level, and players have begun exploring module design and architectures in order to keep improving their technologies for 5G applications. On the other hand, the BAW IP landscape’s dynamic shows that there is still room for BAW manufacturers to improve their devices by developing new manufacturing processes and BAW designs.

Main IP players’ portfolio analysis

This report provides a detailed comparison of the seven main IP players: Murata, TDK, Taiyo Yuden, Skyworks, Qualcomm, Broadcom, and Qorvo. For each player, Knowmade highlights their strength and weaknesses, and provides information regarding their recent and future technology developments. Also, a detailed description and analysis of key patents is provided. Finally, System Plus Consulting and Knowmade have joined forces to provide a mapping of the current links between the main players’ products and patents. The same analysis has been done for five IP newcomers: Samsung Electro Mechanics, Akoustis, Resonant, Infineon, and CETC.

Analysis of main technology developments

5G’s arrival has mainly impacted the patenting activity of AWF-related IP players. Indeed, the need to develop modules that can manage carrier aggregation and multi-band operations has pushed the main IP players to file patents related to complex filter systems (duplexers, multiplexers, etc.) and their integration into one module. In this report, The IP dynamics and trends related to packaging and modules have been thoroughly anayzed in order to realize the current technological developments and understand how players are addressing the issues related to the integration of complex acoustic filters into small, cost-effective modules.

Report’s main assets

  • Understanding the key players’ patented technologies and current IP strategies
  • More than 960 patent applicants are involved in the RF acoustic wave filter patent landscape. This report reveals the IP position of key players through a detailed analysis of their patent portfolios. The report also describes these players’ patented technologies, their IP strategy, and their ability to limit other firms’ patenting activity and freedom-to-operate.
  • Analyzing IP players’ position on promising applications and developed technologies
  • This report furnishes an understanding of IP players’ positions on promising applications. Main IP players and key patents are presented for each segment, along with an understanding of the current technical challenges addressed in the patents.
  • Identifying and understanding key patents related to RF acoustic wave filters
  • This report offers a detailed analysis of key patents (seminal, blocking) related to SAW and BAW filters. Furthermore, for each segment a selection of seminal, blocking, and most promising patents is highlighted.
  • Useful Excel patent database
  • This report also includes an Excel database with the >18,500 patents and patent applications analyzed in this study. This useful patent database allows for multi-criteria searches and includes patent publication numbers, hyperlinks to the original documents, priority date, title, abstract, patent assignees, patent’s current legal status, and technological and application segments.

Table of Contents

2017 IP landscape results

Scope of the report
Key feature of the report
Main assignees citing in the report
Objectives of the report
Methodology for patent search and selection
Terminologies for patent analysis
Definition for key patents

General overview
Time evolution of patent publications
Main IP players
Geographic coverage

SAW filters

Time evolution of patent publications
Main IP players
Legal status of patents
Geographic coverage of IP portfolios
Time evolution of patent publications per assignee
IP position of main IP players

BAW filters
Time evolution of patent publications
Main IP players
Legal status
Main IP players geographic coverage
Time evolution of patent publications per assignee
IP position of main IP players

2017 – 2019 : WHAT HAPPENED ?
Main IP players
Legal status of patents
Geographic coverage of patent portfolios
Time evolution of patent publications per
IP position of main IP players

For each segment: key players and description of
noticeable patents

Flip chip and die packaging
Wafer level packaging

Temperature compensated acoustic wave filters
Functions and modules
Diplexers and multiplexers

For each player: patent portfolio overview, key
patents, and recent patenting activity

Main IP players
Taiyo Yuden

IP Newcomers
Samsung Electro-Mechanics
Infineon Technology




Companies Mentioned

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:

  • Advanced Saw Products
  • Alps Electric
  • Broadcom
  • CEA
  • China Electronics Technology
  • Epson Toyocom
  • Hangzhou Sappland Microelectronics Technology
  • Hitachi
  • Institute Of Acoustics Chinese Academy Of Sciences
  • Intel
  • Intellectual Ventures Holding
  • Japan Radio
  • Kyocera
  • LG Electronics
  • LG Innotek
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mitsubishi Materials
  • Motorola
  • Murata
  • NDK
  • NEC
  • NGK Insulators
  • Nokia
  • OKI Electric Industry
  • Philips
  • Qorvo
  • Qualcomm
  • Resonant
  • Samsung Electro Mechanics
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Sanyo Electric
  • Seiko Epson
  • Shoulder Electronics
  • Skyworks
  • Sony
  • STMicroelectronics
  • Sumitomo Electric Industries
  • Taiyo Yuden
  • TDK Epcos
  • Texas Instruments
  • Thales
  • Tianjin University
  • Toko
  • Toshiba
  • Toyo Communication Equipment
  • UBE Industries
  • Wisol
  • Zenith Radio


For patent landscape analysis, the patent information is extracted from the FamPat worldwide patent database (Questel-ORBIT) which provides 100+ million patent documents from 95 worldwide patent offices.

The search strategy combines keyword-based searches with expert review and manual screening of the patents. Keywords are searched in the title, abstract, claims and description. Relevant IPC (International Patent Classification) and CPC (Cooperative Patent Classification) are also used for the patent search. The dataset of identified patents is manually cleaned of non-relevant patents. Citing and cited patents of selected relevant patents are also included in the search strategy. The search strategy (keywords and search equations) and the dataset of selected patents is provided in our reports.

The publisher's analysts (PhD team) combine their technical and patent expertise with powerful analytics tools and proprietary methodologies to deliver the most relevant patent analyses.