SAW Devices

Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are electronic devices used in telecommunications products. Billions of these extremely versatile devices are manufactured every year, and the potential is growing further as they find applications in many new, emerging fields ranging from industrial to commercial. 

Surface acoustic waves are waves that travel along the surface of a material exhibiting elasticity. These types of waves are commonly used in electronic circuits. Electronic devices employing SAWs typically use interdigital transducers to convert acoustic waves to electrical signals and vice versa. This is achieved by exploiting the piezoelectric effect of dedicated materials without any power supply.  

The largest consumer for SAW devices is the telecommunications industry, where SAWs are used as bandpass filters in the radio frequency (RF) range in mobiles phones and base stations. Some of the emerging applications for acoustic wave devices include sensors for the automotive (e.g., torque and pressure sensors), medical (e.g., chemical sensors) and industrial markets (e.g., humidity, temperature and mass sensors). SAWs are also used for advanced touch screens.

Various piezoelectric materials can be used for acoustic wave devices, with the most common being quartz glass, lithium tantalate and lithium niobate.

EV Group offers an array of products for the fabrication of surface acoustic wave devices. The line-up includes bonding systems for R&D as well as integrated solutions for high-volume manufacturing. Major SAW manufacturers around the world trust in our systems for reliable high-volume production.


SAW filter for DVB-T. Courtesy of EPCOS AG.

Schematic design of a typical SAW device. Source: EVG.