Many smartphone manufacturers are offering 5G handsets in a bid to increase mobile phone sales. Several 5G-compatible smartphones are in mass production and more are scheduled for release this year. Smartphones sales have stagnated so OEMs and carriers are pushing 5G development and deployment with the hopes that customers will be enticed to upgrade their phones.

These early 5G phones are primarily designed to enhance 4G LTE by adding sub-6GHz frequency spectrum. Support for the millimeter-wave (mmWave) version of 5G, which many consider to be the “true” 5G, is limited as rollout of the technology is still in its infancy.

By examining the design and construction of several 5G smartphones, TechSearch International has spotted important trends for the packaging industry, including more chips and packages in 5G handsets than 4G phones. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has almost 2x more packages than the S10/S10+ for the RF front-end and baseband functions, and that is just to support sub-6GHz 5G connectivity. Additional RFFE packages are required for mmWave 5G.

TechSearch International’s latest Advanced Packaging Update provides details about RFFE designs and packages, transceiver and modem comparisons, and additional antenna and PMIC requirements for 5G handsets.

The latest Advanced Packaging Update also discusses packages found in basic feature phones. The report is 83 pages in length with full references and an accompanying set of 41 PowerPoint slides.