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Phenomenal growth in the telecommunication industry in recent years has brought significant advances in filter technology as new communication systems emerged, demanding more stringent filter characteristics. In particular, the growth of the wireless communication industry has spurred tremendous activity in the area of microwave filter miniaturization and has been responsible for many advances made in this field. The filters that are currently being used in wireless base stations can be divided into two main categories: coaxial cavity resonator filters and dielectric resonator (DR) filters. While coaxial cavity filters have limited quality factor (Q) values, they offer the lowest cost design and are still being widely employed, particularly in wide bandwidth applications. With increased demands for high performance wireless systems, dielectric resonator filters are emerging as the baseline design for wireless base stations. Over the next five years, dielectric resonator filters are expected to have a significant share of the overall wireless base station filter market. High-temperature superconductor (HTS) filters are also expected to have a share of this market, particularly for systems, which have very stringent requirements for out-of-band interference. In this article, we begin by reviewing the main filter requirements, highlighting the technologies that are being currently employed. Emerging filter technologies that have the potential to replace the existing technologies are then described.
Date of Publication: Mar 2004