Bonded Wafers for SAW Filters Receive Japan Fine Ceramics Association Award for Technical Advancement

May 31, 2013

NGK INSULATORS, LTD.(President: Taro Kato, Headquarters: Nagoya, Japan) received the 2012 Award for Technical Advancement from the Japan Fine Ceramics Association on May 30 for the development of bonded wafers for surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters, which have been commended highly.

This award is granted to those who have made significant achievements in the development of new products and technologies in the field of fine ceramics. SAW filters are used primarily in wireless communications devices such as smartphones. They serve as a type of frequency filter that has a large bearing on communications quality. NGK successfully developed a bonded wafer by combining different materials into a new substrate--one that improves the temperature property of SAW filters, which has been a drawback of conventional SAW filters. This breakthrough was commended highly for its originality and potential, leading to the receipt of this award.

Overview of Award
Award name:
2012 Japan Fine Ceramics Association Award for Technical Advancement

Organization name:
Japan Fine Ceramics Association

Details of commendation:
Development of bonded wafers for surface acoustic wave (SAW) filters

Award winners:
Yasunori Iwasaki, Yuji Hori, Tomoyoshi Tai and 7 other members of the R&D Division of NGK INSULATORS, LTD.

Bonded wafers for SAW filters (4-inch diameter)
Bonded wafers for SAW filters (4-inch diameter)

Burgeoning data traffic volume driven by the popularization of smartphones, tablets and other devices has made improving the efficiency of communications bandwidth usage an urgent global priority. Current SAW filter substrates are made of piezoelectric single crystal wafers, which have significant thermal expansion. As a result, the frequency properties of SAW filters fabricated on these substrates vary with temperature changes in the usage environment. This had made part of the communications bandwidth unavailable for communications use, causing a drastic reduction in bandwidth usage efficiency. By shaping piezoelectric single crystal wafers into thin sheets and bonding silicon, which has low thermal expansion properties, NGK has developed bonded wafers for SAW filters that lower the thermal expansion of wafer surfaces to one-third of the conventional level. Consequently, NGK has successfully provided to realize a high-performance SAW filter with a dramatically improved temperature property, and this filter will contribute to improving the efficiency of bandwidth usage.

NGK will use this award as a springboard to continue accelerating the development of its wafers for electronic devices, eyeing the development of applications in a variety of fields.

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