Preview of Qualcomm’s 7th generation 4G/5G Envelope Tracker QET7100

Preview of Qualcomm’s 7th generation 4G/5G Envelope Tracker QET7100

 

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Contributing author: Radu Trandafir

On February 8th, 2021 Qualcomm announced the QET7100 – the successor to the QET6100, which they dubbed the "world’s first announced 5G 100MHz envelope tracking solution."

While the older QET6100 device was positioned as having a 100 MHz bandwidth and 256-QAM modulation needed for 5G NR envelope tracker for 5G (which Qualcomm notes was previously considered unattainable), the QET7100 is marketed as supporting 5G and 4G and 100 MHz UL (uplink) bandwidth and providing "Multi-output, multi-PA support with a single tracker".

QET7100

Figure 1: Qualcomm’s infographic introducing the 100 MHz bandwidth, multi-output, multi-PA envelope tracker QET7100 (Source: Qualcomm Technologies Inc.)

 

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The 7th generation envelope tracker QET7100 is part of the successful family of envelope signal trackers which includes QET4100, 5100 and 6100 already analysed by TechInsights in our Mobile RF channel.

QET7100

Figure 2: Very high-level architecture diagram of a FR1/sub-6 GHz Tx path using the QET7100 (Source: Qualcomm Technologies Inc.)

In this interview with Martin Rowe published on Feb 11th, 2021 by 5G Technology World, Qualcomm’s Ignacio Contreras, senior director of 5G marketing explains the enhancement in performance of the new envelope tracker QET7100 this way:

"It has to do with covering the wider bandwidth of the channels. Our previous generation envelope tracker could handle 100-MHz wide channels and before that, we had LTE. Today, the envelope tracker supports up to 1 GHz channel bandwidth and it can track the outputs of multiple power amplifiers. The envelope tracking can cover both 4G and 5G, resulting in a reduced size. The improved power efficiency comes from having one envelope tracker handling multiple power amplifiers."

While the predecessor to QET7100, the 6th generation envelope signal tracker QET6100 has proved to be a solid performer, it was not used by Apple in either iPhone 12 or 13, where a hybrid solution, QET5100 + Qorvo’s QM81030 (APT device) was selected instead.

TechInsights has sourced samples of the Moto Edge X30 smartphone, which was quickly sold out in December pre-orders, shortly after its availability announcement. Lenovo’s flagship is the world’s first smartphone equipped with Qualcomm’s latest mobile SoC, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, reportedly fabbed on Samsung’s 4LPE process. This is the China version, FR1 capable only.

The phone seems to be built almost exclusively using Qualcomm components and we have spotted two QET7100 envelope trackers which will be analysed by our team in Q1 2022. As an early preview into our analysis, I can say that the QET7100 package contains two silicon die (versus only one in QET6100) hinting at a more complex and elaborate architecture.

QET7100 package

Figure 3: One of the two dice in the QET7100 package: QET7100_HG11-12595-200; (Source: TechInsights Inc.)

Our analysis of the QET7100 continues.

TechInsights previously published the following reports on the Qualcomm QET6100:

Subscribers can access the reports in the TechInsights Platform any time.

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