Cambridge startup applies noise cancellation to RF

Cambridge startup applies noise cancellation to RF

Technology News |
Forefront RF Ltd. (Cambridge, England) has raised £1.5 million (about US$2 million) to apply adaptive passive cancellation of RF signals to the replacement of BAW and SAW filters and switch banks in 3G to 6G mobile phones.
By Peter Clarke


The company was founded in January 2020 by Leo Loughlin, who has developed academic expertise in this area. Co-founder Julian Hildersley, has management and marketing experience gained at TTPcom, Motorola and Nujira Ltd. Phil Donovan, a co-founder and managing director of Cambridge Silicon Radio Ltd. and CSR plc, has joined as chairman.

The Forefront RF chip will enable mobile phones to operate a wide range of frequency bands while simplifying design and reducing cost, the company claims. The technology will also be applicable to wearables and IoT products.

The chip uses adaptive passive cancellation (APC). It is a technique similar to the noise cancellation applied to audio frequencies. The APC chip replaces banks of RF filters and switches with a tuneable RF circuit that uses embedded software to maintain accuracy of passive self-interference cancellation circuits. This enables a smartphone’s receiver to detect the weakest signals while transmitting at full power.

“The growth in mobile networks driven by the ever-increasing demand for data means that available frequency bands vary from region to region and, using today’s technology, has driven the need for region-specific Smartphone variants each including multiple RF components,” said Laughlin, in a statement. “The space consumed within each Smartphone adds cost and leads to inefficiencies in the supply chain.”

The initial funding round was led by Science Creates Ventures and includes Foresight Williams Technology, BGF, and The Cambridge Angels. The money will be used to recruit employees to develop and launch Forefront RF’s products.

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