Resonant is a licensing company designing filters for the RF Front-end, the “ARM of the RF Filter business.” The Company was initially focused on the mobile handset (smartphone) market, but is now also developing designs for “non-mobile” devices such as electric/autonomous vehicles, AR/VR headsets, and cellular infrastructure.
RF filters are the fastest growing segment of the RFFE, with the market expected to reach $15B in size by 2023 (Source: Navian). The latest tier-1 phones have almost 100 filters per device – early phones only had a handful.
We design advanced RF filters using our multi-physics design software platform, which differentiates Resonant from other filter companies. WaveX™ is a full Finite Element Modeling tool that accurately predicts the performance of a filter design through the specifications of different fabs/foundries. This helps manufacturers bring state-of-the-art RF technologies to market at up to half the time that it takes for a typical RF filter design cycle.
Resonant receives royalty payments based on a percentage of the average selling price (ASP) of a filter. Typically these royalty rates range from 8-12%. In Q2 of 2021, a record 17.5 million Resonant-designed filters were shipped into the market.
With the launch of new wireless technologies, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Ultra Wideband, we realized that a completely new acoustic wave filter technology would be required. Next-gen wireless technologies have new, more demanding requirements – such as wide bandwidths, high frequency, and high power. Using WaveX™ we invented a new filter technology to meet these requirements, called XBAR®.
XBAR® has been validated by the largest filter manufacturer in the world, who placed a strategic investment in Resonant and signed a commercial agreement to design four devices for them. The contract outlines a multi-year agreement worth $9M, and we plan to expand the agreement to include multiple additional devices by the end of 2021.
How did the company start?
2 founders were working at a Company, Superconductor Technologies, where they developed a software platform to design superconducting filters. The founders realized that the software could be adapted to address the much larger market for acoustic wave filters in handsets.
Resonant was spun-out of Superconductor Technologies, to use, and continue to develop the software platform, now applied to acoustic wave filters. Superconductor Technologies has no part of Resonant now.
With the emergence of 5G in wireless, and the tools needed to identify the optimal solution for this new technology, Resonant made a critical strategic decision to take advantage of the budding market. Our modeling investigations identified XBAR® as the best filter building block for 5G. Since the invention of XBAR® in 2018, Resonant has build a strong IP portfolio of over 225 patents filed or issued protecting the technology.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Like everyone else, we had to find new ways to promote efficient and engaging remote working. In some cases, both internally and with customers, we have shifted to remote communication methods and virtual meetings.
Since Resonant is an IP/design company, and does not manufacture products, the pandemic has not had a significant impact on our business.
What can we hope to see from Resonant in the future?
Our mission is to provide radio frequency solutions that revolutionize the connection between People and Things. Evident by our pure play, “arms-dealer,” business model, we plan to enable the world’s largest RF filter manufacturers to provide state-of-the-art solutions in this increasingly connected world.
In the short term, we are focused on the execution of some major milestones this year. As mentioned earlier, we plan to expand our agreement with the world’s largest RF filter manufacturer this year. Additionally, we will secure a contract focused on our XBAR® technology in the emerging “non-mobile” market, which could include autonomous and electric vehicles, other IoT , CPE or infrastructure applications before the end of 2021. We expect 2021 to be a breakout year for our XBAR® technology as we see continued validation that XBAR® is the best solution for advanced, next-generation, wireless technologies.