- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Is the Premier Government Agency Making Pivotal Investments in Breakthrough Technologies for National Security
- New Multi-Year, Multi-Million Dollar Program to Extend the Operating Range of XBAW to 18 GHz
- New Materials and Device Manufacturing to Target Commercial and Defense Markets
Charlotte, N.C., June 23, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today that it has entered into a new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to pursue new materials and device manufacturing methods. As a result of the expected advances, the program could extend the Company’s patented and proprietary XBAW® technology to 18 GHz, opening up significant new commercial and defense applications to Akoustis.
Traditional scaling of BAW resonators to X and Ku bands typically results in unacceptably low Q (quality) factors, degraded electromechanical coupling and much lower power capability driven by leaked energy from much smaller resonators. One approach to BAW frequency scaling is simple overtone mode operation which severely degrades electromechanical coupling. In this DARPA program, XBAW® technology utilizes a novel approach to circumvent trade-offs inherent in traditional BAW frequency scaling approaches. Akoustis plans to introduce, at the completion of the program, XBAW® filters and resonators that fully exploit the entire kt2 of the underlying piezoelectric material.
Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis, stated, “A different frequency scaling approach is required for BAW resonators to operate at higher frequencies above 10GHz, such as X and Ku bands.” Mr. Shealy continued, “In this DARPA-funded effort, we intend to introduce a new method of BAW overtone operation that can maintain high Q factor while mitigating the decrease in coupling. Combining our existing, patented XBAW® technology along with the successful mode overtone operation which we plan to develop under this program, we expect to advance the state-of the-art in BAW RF filter technology at lower frequencies for 5G and Wi-Fi—specifically in terms of power handling, Q factor and frequency operation relative to incumbent BAW technologies in the market today.”
Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its Wi-Fi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW® filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and has entered the market with its new Wi-Fi 6E coexistence XBAW® filter solutions.
Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in 5G mobile, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E in calendar 2022, the Company is increasing the annual production capacity at its New York fab to approximately 500 million filters per year.
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About Akoustis Technologies, Inc.
Akoustis® (http://www.akoustis.com/) is a high-tech BAW RF filter solutions company that is pioneering next-generation materials science and MEMS wafer manufacturing to address the market requirements for improved RF filters – targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. The Company utilizes its proprietary and patented XBAW® manufacturing process to produce bulk acoustic wave RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of poly-crystal, high-purity and single-crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology which enables optimal trade-offs between critical power, frequency and bandwidth performance specifications.
Akoustis plans to service the fast growing multi-billion-dollar RF filter market using its integrated device manufacturer (IDM) business model. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. ISO-9001:2015 registered commercial wafer-manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a class 100 / class 1000 cleanroom facility – tooled for 150-mm diameter wafers – for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filters, MEMS and other semiconductor devices. Akoustis Technologies, Inc. is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor near Charlotte, North Carolina.
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Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated include, without limitation, risks relating to our ability to obtain adequate financing and sustain our status as a going concern; our limited operating history; our inability to generate revenues or achieve profitability; the results of our research and development activities; our inability to achieve acceptance of our products in the market; the possibility that the anticipated benefits from business acquisitions (including the acquisition of RFMi) cannot be realized in full or at all or may take longer to realize than expected; the possibility that costs or difficulties related to the integration of acquired businesses’ (including RFMi’s) operations will be greater than expected and the possibility of disruptions to our business during integration efforts and strain on management time and resources; the impact of a pandemic or epidemic or a natural disaster, including the COVID-19 pandemic, on our operations, financial condition and the worldwide economy, including its impact on our ability to access the capital markets; general economic conditions, including upturns and downturns in the industry; shortages in supplies needed to manufacture our products, or needed by our customers to manufacture devices incorporating our products; our limited number of patents; failure to obtain, maintain, and enforce our intellectual property rights; claims of infringement, misappropriation or misuse of third party intellectual property that, regardless of merit, could result in significant expense and loss of our intellectual property rights; our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel; our reliance on third parties to complete certain processes in connection with the manufacture of our products; product quality and defects; existing or increased competition; our ability to successfully manufacture, market and sell products based on our technologies; our ability to meet the required specifications of customers and achieve qualification of our products for commercial manufacturing in a timely manner; our ability to successfully scale our New York wafer fabrication facility and related operations while maintaining quality control and assurance and avoiding delays in output; the rate and degree of market acceptance of any of our products; our ability to achieve design wins from current and future customers; contracting with customers and other parties with greater bargaining power and agreeing to terms and conditions that may adversely affect our business; risks related to doing business in foreign countries, including China; any security breaches, cyber-attacks or other disruptions compromising our proprietary information and exposing us to liability; our failure to innovate or adapt to new or emerging technologies; our failure to comply with regulatory requirements; results of any arbitration or litigation that may arise; stock volatility and illiquidity; dilution caused by any future issuance of common stock or securities that are convertible into or exercisable for common stock; our failure to implement our business plans or strategies; and our ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in more detail in the Risk Factors and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Considering these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking statements regarding future events and circumstances discussed in this document may not occur, and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. 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