by Akoustis|January 13, 2022

2021 Akoustis Year in Review

The last year has been exciting for Akoustis as we finally made the full transition from the development stage to the commercialization of our leading RF filter products. 2021 delivered multiple new design wins and volume orders from our patented XBAW™ line. We ramped from one customer in production to more than five over the course of the year and have multiple additional engagements on the horizon.

We continue to scale our New York Fab facility in Canandaigua, with equipment in place to support 500 million units per year in capacity. 2022 heralds the expected passing of the CHIPS for America Act, which would set the stage for Akoustis to play a major role in the future of the U.S. semiconductor industry, with the potential for new investment to scale capacity to billions of units per year.

During calendar 2021, we made an opportunistic acquisition of a majority stake in RFMi, an acoustic wave RF resonator filter catalog business, which gives us access to leading surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology for the development of multi-chip modules and adds significant new sales channels including the automotive, industrial/IoT, medical and timing and control markets. Lastly, we made the decision to bring our WLCSP technology production in-house to our New York fabrication facility.

It’s been a very productive year. Here are the details from a few of the major highlights. We look forward to accelerating customer and revenue growth throughout calendar 2022 and beyond.

Akoustis Increased Customer Count by 500% and Expanded Capacity to Support Growth in 5G Mobile and Infrastructure, WiFi 6, and WiFi 6E, Defense and Other Markets

In 2021, we increased the number of customers in production five-fold across the Wi-Fi and 5G infrastructure markets. In addition, we doubled the number of 5G mobile customers that have engaged with Akoustis for the development of new XBAW™ filters for smartphones and other mobile devices, all of which are targeting production by calendar 2023.

The increasing interest in Akoustis RF filters has led to massive growth in production capacity at our New York Fab. We made the decision to increase capacity to approximately 500 million filters per year to both broaden our sales reach to high-volume customers and support the advancement of device and infrastructure development across the markets we serve.

With increased fab capacity, more OEMs and ODMs will be able to take advantage of the differentiating benefits of our patented XBAW™ RF filters, which include high frequency, high power, wider bandwidth, and compact size. As demand escalates for increased mobile data, greater wafer capacity better aligns Akoustis with the high-volume commercial customers competing in related markets.

Investing the Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing in America

Akoustis is proud to be working in close contact with the U.S. government to expand federal investments in domestic semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing. The goal of the CHIPS for America Act is to usher in a historic renaissance of chip manufacturing in the United States. Whereas 37% of semiconductor capacity was located in American in 1990, the share has dropped to just 12% due to foreign governments investing in chip manufacturing incentives.

Benefits to funding and implementing the CHIPS for America Act include:

  • bolstering one of the country’s most critical industries,
  • elevating domestic chip R&D and
  • pushing the U.S. towards the forefront of the chip-enabled technologies that will define global commerce for decades to come.

Majority Ownership Position of RFM Integrated Device, Inc. Acquired in October

The Akoustis family grew in October 2021 with the addition of RFMi, a fabless supplier of acoustic wave RF resonators and filters.
Benefits of the acquisition include:

  • RFMi’s products complement Akoustis’ patented XBAW™ platform and facilitate the development of multi-chip-modules for varied markets across the 4G, 5G, WiFi, and satellite technology spaces;
  • significant expansion of our catalog portfolio with SAW resonator, Xtal resonator & oscillator products;
  • access to new strategic markets, sales channels, and market-leading customers;
  • access to new wafer-level-package products that are currently manufactured in factories certified to stringent automotive IATF16949 standards;
  • access to complementary technology to enhance Akoustis’ XBAW™ RF timing product portfolio announced last week;
  • a low CapEx, fabless product business with synergistic supply chain operations along with a proven technical, marketing, and engineering team.

Looking forward, Akoustis retains the option to acquire the remaining 49% of RFM Integrated Device on or before June 30, 2022.

Bringing WLP Production In-House

The WLP process is a vital advancement to support both our foundry customers and engage with the mobile market segments, requiring high performance, ultra-small, packaged filters. Migrating the WLP into our New York Fab has substantially enhanced our ability to control the quality, cost, and customization of our wafer-level packages for 5G mobile devices and micro-filter solutions for network infrastructure and consumer premise equipment.

Our new package is sized 1-to-1 to the BAW filter die for a substantially smaller filter footprint, ideal for the growing number of RF filter placements in modern devices.

Press Releases

For a recap of news & events from 2021, visit our press release archive.