October 3, 2019

    Whether you are still in the ideation phase or you have your design concept set – bringing a new IoT or wireless product to market is not for the faint of heart. Countless research studies indicate how challenging it can be to successfully introduce a new product these days. In the spirit of fostering support for aspiring RF designers, Qorvo and Crowd Supply have teamed up to create the Qorvo RF Accelerator – a novel approach that uses the campaign model from the crowdfunding phenomenon combined with mentorship and open hardware to create a design and funding incubator. The result: a unique opportunity for RF designers to fuel the next big idea and help bring it to market.
     

    A Smarter and Faster Way to Market

    Designers enrolled in the Qorvo RF Accelerator can create and market new products with Qorvo chips – from gathering funding, to manufacturing and shipping a product to real, paying customers – all managed through the Crowd Supply platform. The Qorvo RF Accelerator will continue throughout 2019 and accept 10 projects in total.

    “The possibilities for fresh and exciting IoT and wireless products are endless, and you never know where the ‘next great idea’ will come from,” says Brandi Frye, Qorvo’s corporate vice president of marketing. “At Qorvo, we’re passionate about innovation. The Qorvo RF Accelerator aims to level the playing field so anyone can make his or her design a reality. We’re so excited to see the results.”

    Crowd Supply is both a crowdfunding and e-commerce platform. Through the platform, participants launch their projects with 30- to 45-day campaigns to raise funds for production from paying backers – everyone from hobbyists to some of the world’s largest companies. Support packages for RF Accelerator participants include:

    • Promotion across Qorvo, Mouser, and Crowd Supply channels
    • Reduced-price parts for initial production run
    • Reduced Crowd Supply campaign fee
    • Bill of materials and marketing review consultations
       
       

    How to Participate

    To enroll in a 30-day Crowd Supply campaign that showcases Qorvo products, first fill out the Crowd Supply project submission form and mention that you're interested in the Qorvo RF Accelerator.

    Crowd Supply selects projects based on the following criteria:

    • Original: the design concept should add something new and exciting to the world. Improvements on existing projects are fine;
      knock-offs are not.
    • Useful: it should address a real need. Just because it's possible, doesn't mean it should be done.
    • Respectful: it should honor user rights: curiosity, independence, association, longevity, transfer, discourse, privacy, and security.
       

    The Qorvo RF Accelerator Stages
     
    This shows the 30-day Crowd Supply campaign in the Qorvo RF Accelerator stages – from vetting a project through funding,
    manufacturing and delivering.

     

    The LimeRFE Project: RF Front End Module for the LimeSDR Platforms

    One of the first participants in the Qorvo RF accelerator is the Lime RF Front End module (LimeRFE), a complete solution for custom HAM, cellular, and wideband networks. The LimeRFE is a power amplifier (PA) module with appropriate filtering and support circuitry that augments the LimeSDR, LimeSDR Mini, and LimeNET Micro platforms. It forms a complete solution addressing real-life applications ranging from HAM radio to standards-compliant cellular network implementations.

    Computer rendering of the LimeRFE
     
    LimeRFE render front (left) and back (right)
     

    A single LimeRFE covers three very different sets of bands: HAM, cellular, and wideband. The exact band used at any given time is software-selectable. By making the RF front end definable in software, LimeRFE showcases the next step in the evolution of software-defined radio.

     

    LimeRFE Block Diagram
     
    The LimeRFE block diagram
     

    So far, Lime has produced several prototype revisions to verify performance over the targeted frequencies and bands as detailed in the diagram above. It launched its campaign on June 23, 2019 and has so far raised $53,000+ – more than 4x their original goal. And this one is just getting started. Their prior designs raised $2.5M+ from more than 10,000 backers!
     

    Teardown 2019: Hardware for the Masses

    Teardown is Crowd Supply's annual conference in Portland, OR where the discussion is all about hardware: prototyping, manufacturing, testing, disassembling and circumventing. This year's event, held June 21st to 23rd, featured design experts who conducted talks and hands-on workshops covering a range of hardware topics and experience levels.

    Qorvo highlights from the conference include:

    LimeRFE Demo Board
     
    Qorvo's RF Accelerator program's first participating campaign, the Lime RFE demoed its project.
     

    Qorvo's Brad Silvers (left) and Brandi Frye (right) presenting at Teardown 2019

    Qorvo's Brad Silvers, Sr. Manager of Customer Quality Engineering, presenting "Keeping Customers Happy Through Yield Monitoring and Process Control."
     

    Brandi Frye, Corp VP of Marketing at Qorvo, hosting:
    "We Are Women in Tech" luncheon and roundtable discussion.

     

    Campaign Successes

    While the crowdfunding process is nothing new, the Crowd Supply approach is a unique way to bring electronic design products to market – products that without this support, may never be realized. This model for designs has proven highly successful. Not only have designs come to market, several projects are funded beyond their goals, are featured in industry trade press, and are already shipping products.

     

    Ready to get started?

    Qorvo products power systems for connected cars, monitor smart homes and connect next-gen 5G networks. Qorvo products have even traveled nine years and three billion miles to help the New Horizons spacecraft capture the world's first images of Pluto. What will you help make possible? Accelerate your RF.

    Bring Your Product to Market through the Qorvo RF Accelerator

    Launch your campaign>>

    Qorvo RF Accelerator Logo

     

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    About the Author

    Qorvo Blog Team

    One part technical, one part content, and one part strategic, our small team is dedicated to connecting you with helpful, timely insights from some of the bright minds at Qorvo.