Robert Aigner, born in Austria in 1968, received his Ph.D. degree from Munich Technical University in 1996 for research on micromachined chemical sensors. He was a visiting scientist at Berkeley Sensors and Actuators Center BSAC in 1996 where he worked on system design for inertial sensors. After returning to Germany he joined the MEMS research group at Siemens Corporate Technology in 1997. Between 1999 and 2005 he was director of a MEMS R&D department at Infineon Technologies and worked on a variety of MEMS devices including Automotive MEMS and RF-MEMS. The team he built and directed became pioneers in commercializing Bulk-Acoustic-Wave (BAW) technology. Since 2006 he is director of R&D for Acoustic Technologies at TriQuint Semiconductor in Orlando/Florida. His focus is to drive technology innovations in the fields of SAW and BAW. He has served in several European committees for Microsystem Technology and was nominated as MEMS-expert for European Commission. He currently is in the technical program committee of IEEE UFFC and serves as reviewer for JMEMS and other journals. He has more than 90 patents (from 50 patent families) in the field of BAW and MEMS granted on his name, has published more than 80 articles and contributed chapters to three text books.
Acoustic filter technologies based on piezoelectric materials play a key role in wireless communication as they guarantee spectral integrity of RF signals. SAW filters have been used for this purpose since the early days of mobile phones. BAW filters are a relatively recent addition to the technology portfolio. Each technology claims to have unique advantages over the other. This presentation gives a detailed review of the strength and weaknesses for both technologies. The aspects covered include process complexity, unique features, performance parameters and limitations. The application space for RF filters will be mapped out to identify areas where either SAW or BAW dominates or where they compete. Both technologies follow a steep path of improvements which involves introducing new materials, processes and design methods. Rivalry put aside there are many areas where advanced SAW and BAW can benefit from each other.