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Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKTS)
Q1 2020 Earnings Call
Nov 02, 2020, 8:00 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Akoustis Technologies business update conference call. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. [Operator instructions] A replay of the call will be available on the Investor Relations section of the Akoustis website.

Tom Sepenzis -- Vice President Corporate Development and Investor Relations

Thank you, operator, and good morning to everyone on the call. Welcome to Akoustis first-quarter fiscal 2021 business update conference call. We are joined today by our founder and CEO, Jeff Shealy; interim CFO, Ken Boller; and EVP of business development, Dave Aichele. Before we begin, please note that today's presentation includes forward-looking statements about our business outlook.

All statements other than statements of historical facts included during this conference call, including statements regarding our strategies, operations, costs, plans, and objectives, including the timing and prospect of product development and customer orders, our expectations regarding achieving design wins from current and future customers, the possibility of entering into collaborative or partnering relationships, potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance regarding expected revenue, product orders and milestones for the current and future fiscal quarters are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are predictions based on the company's expectations as of today and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. The company and our management team assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made on today's call. Our SEC filings mention important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially.

Please refer to our latest Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filed with the SEC to get a better understanding of those risks and uncertainties. In addition, our presentation today will also refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is presented in our earnings call highlight release available on the Investors section of akoustis.com. I would now like to turn over the call to Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Tom, and welcome, everyone, to our 2021 first fiscal quarter business update call. We had a strong start to our fiscal 2021 year as we enter production in two high-volume commercial markets, including WiFi 6 and 5G small cell networking equipment. In WiFi, we ramp production with our Tier 1 consumer-focused brand that is currently stocking shelves with a tri-band, multi-user MIMO CPE router ahead of the holiday season. We started volume shipments with our Tier 1 5G small cell network infrastructure customer, which we expect to continue ramping moving forward with multiple XBAW filter design wins.

We achieved all of our strategic milestones for the September quarter and delivered on some unexpected fronts that I will discuss during the conference call today. In fiscal Q1, we beat our revenue guidance of up 50% quarter over quarter based upon our initial ramp in WiFi and 5G small cell shipments. And today, I am pleased to announce we expect our fiscal Q2 revenue to be up at least 50% sequentially. This means, for the first time, we expect to achieve approximately $1 million in quarterly revenue from our chip business.

The growth is being driven by strength across our WiFi, network infrastructure and mobile business segments. And overall, our optimistic outlook is grounded with execution across multiple markets, which should contribute to our revenue ramp, providing Akoustis with the opportunity for significant top and bottom line growth for years to come. Before I talk about each of our market segments, I would like to spend a moment discussing the ongoing impact of this COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business and touch on what we expect over the coming months. As a result of the pandemic, Akoustis continues to -- with several precautionary steps, including selective remote work authorization and work site isolation from outside visitors.

Overall, we continue to experience the incredible flexibility afforded by our in-house manufacturing model in the current environment as it allows us to continue to develop and ship our product with minimal delays. To this day, Akoustis has continued to operate with all key personnel as an essential business in both New York and North Carolina during this pandemic, and we continue to accelerate product development consistent with our strategic road map. We greatly appreciate our employees and value their flexibility and discipline staying safe during this challenging time. Looking ahead, it is difficult to know the additional impact of the pandemic, particularly on our customers regarding the respective supply chains and product launches.

As we discussed on the last conference call, WiFi 6 has experienced the greatest disruption earlier in calendar 2020 as OEMs continue to build existing designs. Looking forward, we see future designs with both WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E, where we are well positioned with our product portfolio. The defense market is also showing some signs that programs are being delayed, but this should not impact our expectations for calendar 2021 as growth in our high-volume commercial markets that should more than compensate for any delays in the defense business. We have organized today's call to give you both a progress report and/or target milestones on each of our four main filter market segments, those being WiFi, 5G network infrastructure, 5G mobile devices, and finally, our other market segments.

In addition, Ken will provide an overview of the financial results with forward revenue guidance. And finally, I will highlight our expectations and milestones beyond the December quarter. And now I would like to move on to our business performance by market segment, beginning with WiFi. The September quarter was our strongest quarter to date in WiFi as it marked the initial production ramp by our first WiFi 6 tri-band multi-user MIMO customer.

This customer is a high-profile, our Tier 1 consumer-focused brand that is currently shipping finished product into the retail channel for holiday sales and marks the first commercial WiFi product with multiple XBAW filters on board. Initial feedback from the customer has been extremely positive, and discussions are already under way with increased unit expectations for the next year. We have met all delivery expectations for our 5.2 and 5.6 gigahertz filters, and I am personally very proud of our design and operations teams that had successfully managed this first significant commercial production ramp. We are now tracking multiple active engagements with OEMs, ODMs, SoC makers and channel partners in the WiFi 6.

Our teams done an excellent job filling our sales funnel, and we are now in the advanced stages of the sales cycle with several customers, where we expect additional design wins over the coming months despite the current impact of the global pandemic. As we have discussed previously, the FCC announced in late April the approval of 5.9 to 7.1 gigahertz for WiFi 6E unlicensed use, which is the largest spectrum addition since the FCC of allocated unlicensed spectrum for WiFi in 1989. This next-generation of WiFi is expected to use the existing 5.1 to 5.8 gigahertz unlicensed bands, which we refer to as the 5.5 band, along with the newly allocated 5.9 to 7.1 gigahertz bands, which we refer to as the 6.5 band, to deliver higher data rates for WiFi 6E. The engineering challenges in delivering these new filters include the high-frequency operation, ultrawide bandwidth and high adjacent band rejection, leveraging key performance features of our patented XBAW technology.

We have been aggressively developing wide bandwidth piezoelectric materials, device models and RF filter designs and have filed new key patent applications surrounding our WiFi 6E RF filters. During the September quarter, we successfully introduced the first BAW-based 6.5 WiFi 6E filter. This followed our tandem 5.5 gigahertz filter, which we introduced during the June quarter. We have achieved robust sampling of these filters with multiple OEMs, ODMs and SoC vendors.

And we expect to design, lock and start qualification of these new XBAW filters by the end of the current calendar year. So, these two WiFi 6E filters are standard products that will be available to all customers' catalog parts. We've received our first order for our 5.5 and 6.5 gigahertz tandem solution during the September quarter from a Tier 1 enterprise-class OEM and expect production to begin by mid-calendar 2021. In addition to the standard WiFi 6E 5.5 and 6.5 gigahertz XBAW filters, and some OEMs are requesting custom solutions.

During the September quarter, we signed a strategic purchase agreement for multiple WiFi 6E filters with a Tier 1 enterprise-class WiFi OEM, which is expected to go into production in calendar 2021. In the September quarter, we shipped multiple custom WiFi 6E filters to this customer and look to deliver these additional samples in the coming months in our new wafer-level packages, which deliver the form factor required for the mobile market, including the 5G smartphones. Whereas activity in WiFi 6 remain strong, the interest and demand for WiFi 6E filter solutions is robust as many OEMs and ODMs have quickly shifted new CPE product designs to address WiFi 6E. In addition, we strongly believe there will be a need for BAW micro filter solutions for WiFi 6E in mobile handsets.

And as I just mentioned, we are about to ship our first WLP solution sample that we now expect will satisfy what should be a very sizable opportunity. In summary, we believe the revolution into WiFi 6E will drive significant unit and revenue growth for Akoustis beginning in the first half of calendar 2021. Next, I would now like to discuss our opportunities in 5G network infrastructure. With a wide bandwidth, high-power handling, low insertion loss and high out-of-band rejection are the core product performance features for 5G network infrastructure.

Akoustis is ideally positioned to grow its market share in this segment given our small form factor solution and our growing portfolio of RF filters above 3 gigahertz, where 5G is being deployed worldwide. We are currently designing and/or shipping filters in three main segments of the 5G infrastructure market, including small cell base stations, macro base stations and Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS, equipment. In the 5G small cell market, we shipped an initial volume order with our Tier 1 customer with a band n77 filter in the September quarter. We have also announced our third 5G small cell design win with this customer and shipped a fourth filter that we expect will go into production in early calendar 2021.

In the September quarter, we were also pleased to announce that we had received a design win from a second 5G small cell customer that is expected to start ramping in early calendar 2021. And we are actively engaged with about four additional potential small cell customers, including two Tier 1 equipment providers. In our last update, we spoke about our other existing Tier 1 5G network equipment customer and the plan to deliver this customer a spec-compliant, high-power filter by the end of November, with the intent to go into production by the middle of calendar 2021. We are currently tracking toward the execution of this goal.

In late July, the FCC began the auction of the Priority Access License, or PAL, portion of our Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum for the U.S. market. The CBRS bands operate between 3.5 and 3.7 gigahertz and will provide cellular carriers and other major communications companies new and additional sub-6 gigahertz spectrum, which can be a key enabler for making 5G deployments possible by providing last-mile data service and also improving coverage of individual unlicensed networks. Verizon, Dish Networks, Comcast and Charter were the early winners, spending approximately $3.7 billion of the total $4.6 billion for PALs in the recent auction.

We believe that the utilization of CBRS bands within the 5G network will likely require a significant amount of high-frequency filters to be able to deal with a multitude of coexistence issues, which falls squarely into our sweet spot, producing and delivering high-quality, high-frequency BAW filters. To our knowledge, Akoustis continues to be the only supplier providing BAW filters for this application, and we are receiving increased interest given the performance and the size of our CBRS filter solution. As we announced this past March, we have design locked our first CBRS XBAW filter and have sampled it to greater than 10 SoC and CBRS equipment makers, up from the three customers we announced in the March quarter. In addition, we completed orders to a distributor to support promotion and customer engagements for the 3.6 gigahertz BAW filter.

Furthermore, last week, we have also announced that we have received our first design wins from a CBRS network infrastructure OEM for our 3.6 gigahertz XBAW RF filter solution, which are expected to ramp into production in the second half of calendar 2021. The order is from a customer that received and tested the filters when they were originally introduced about a year ago and are now ready to produce new CPE and network equipment as operators are looking to build out their networks now that the auctions have been held and spectrum is now available. The customer intends to use our XBAW filters for CPE products and for inclusion in network infrastructure equipment. I would now to discuss our efforts in the mobile device market.

The mobile handset market is our largest potential BAW filter market opportunity by both unit volume and revenue. Our XBAW filters have already been evaluated by several select top Tier 1 and the Tier 2 mobile handset OEMs, and we are seeing increased interest in using our XBAW filters in the mobile device market. As we have discussed before, entering the Tier 1 handset market in the near term would require a partner. However, we believe, with our ongoing 500% capacity expansion of our New York fab, that we will have the wherewithal to enter the handset market servicing one or more Tier 2 handset OEMs without a partner.

I am happy to announce this morning that we have received our first order from a new customer for XBAW filters for 5G mobile RF front-end solutions. We are jointly developing coexistence RF filters for integration into our customers' RF modules, which are expected to enable ramp in second half of calendar 2021. From our early discussions with this customer, we could see the opportunity to supply multiple filters in multiple bands for 5G and WiFi RF modules. Since our customer supplies numerous device OEMs, this represents a one-to-many sales opportunity for Akoustis in the 5G mobile market.

Beyond customer-driven activity, we have dedicated engineering resources focused on dramatic package size reductions, and specifically the development of advanced wafer-level packaging, or WLP, and wafer-level chip scale packaging, or WLCSP, solutions to address next-generation of 5G mobile products. Working within a 100% North American supply chain, Akoustis has been developing a WLCSP process with the capacity needed to support the high volumes associated with the mobile device market. WLCSP technology development has been steadily progressing throughout the calendar 2020, with preproduction parts expected to be available in early calendar 2021. We are also actively developing flip chip wafer-level die solutions, which provide a low-cost WLP technology supporting improved performance and smaller footprint integration.

We remain on track to deliver qualified packages by the end of the current calendar year. And finally, in our other market segment, I was pleased to announce last Tuesday that we have been awarded a new multiyear R&D contract from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, to further develop Akoustis' technology through the development of a Piezo MEMS process design kit, or PDK, for the company's proprietary and patented XBAW process. The direct to Phase 2, or DP2, program will be dedicated to developing a general-purpose PDK that will enable BAW and other similar MEMS structures to be designed and fabricated using the company's state-of-the-art XBAW process. The proposed Piezo MEMS PDK will encompass all aspects of the process ranging from materials properties, process rules of stack dimensions, process control monitoring, design rule checking and example device models.

Upon successful completion of the DP2 program, DARPA has an option to fund our Phase 3 program. This option supports multiple new customer engagements, leveraging the new PDK to create devices and circuits, including RF filters using our company's XBAW process. We expect this will greatly expand the opportunities for XBAW moving forward as other designers will be able to develop new products utilizing our novel piezoelectric materials and substrates outside of the current devices, which could lead to some new opportunities and adjacent markets. Now I would like to turn the call over to Ken to go through select financial highlights.

Ken Boller -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Jeff. For the first quarter ended September 30th, the company reported revenue of $636,000, which was an increase of 74% as compared to the previous quarter, and represented a 118% increase in our quarter filter product revenue. On a GAAP basis, operating loss was $10.3 million for the September quarter, mainly driven by some labor costs of $6.3 million, depreciation of $1 million and other operational costs totaling $3 million. As a result, GAAP net loss per share was $0.31.

On a non-GAAP basis, operating loss was $8.3 million and non-GAAP net loss per share was $0.23. Capex spend for Q1 was $2.3 million, compared to $3.4 million in the prior quarter, mostly related to the targeted 500% capacity expansion in the company's New York fab. Cash used in operating activities in Q1 was $7.9 million, compared to $4.9 million in the prior quarter. The increase of $3 million is primarily due to certain fiscal year-end payments that we have not expected to repeat in the second quarter and increases in spend related to our capacity expansion.

The company exited the September quarter with $37.3 million of cash and cash equivalents versus $44.4 million at the end of Q4. This decrease in cash from operating activities and capex spend was partially offset by the mindful management of our balance sheet, utilizing the after-market financing instruments. During the September quarter, and -- we added $3.1 million net cash to the balance sheet through the utilization of this instrument after all fees, an average sale price of approximately $8.08. And while there is still some uncertainty regarding the timing of customer production ramps related to COVID-19, our visibility is still improving.

Given the rollout of 5G and new WiFi platforms, we are fully booked with backlog in-house to guide revenue up at least 50% sequentially in the December quarter. And for the first time, we expect to achieve more than $1 million in quarterly revenue from our chip business. I will now turn the call back over to Jeff to discuss our future milestones.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Ken. Overall, we expect to see revenue from all of our targeted end-market segments in the December quarter. Our company continues to strive to achieve our targeted milestones across each of our market segments. These are the targeted milestones for the December quarter, which can be found in our November 2020 investor presentation on our website, include: delivery of a design locked 5.5 and 6.5 gigahertz WiFi 6E XBAW filters by the end of the year; continued ramp with our WiFi 6 customer for multi-user MIMO devices; we expect one to two new design wins in WiFi 6 using our existing XBAW coexistence filter solutions; we expect to commence a production ramp with our Tier 1 small cell network infrastructure customer with multiple filters; we expect to deliver a design locked filter for our first Tier 1 5G network infrastructure customer; and we expect to receive an XBAW filter order for CBRS from a major SoC vendor.

In addition, we also expect to introduce a qualified wafer-level package solution for the mobile device market. And we expect to complete a design for a new 5G XBAW filter for our new RF front-end mobile customer. And finally, we expect to kick off the first phase of the DARPA program. In conclusion, we continue to work diligently to achieve each of our stated objective, and we will continue to update you on our execution against these objectives going forward.

And our team at Akoustis has done a tremendous job over the past year, and I am pleased to reiterate that we have 15 design locked XBAW RF filters as of today, which is more than a sevenfold increase in the past 12 months. This growing product catalog that puts us in a great position to ramp revenue in the December quarter, as reflected in our guidance, and we look forward to expanding our filter catalog. As we discussed in our previous conference call, to support our current engagements and emerging sales opportunities, we continue investing to increase manufacturing the capacity by 500% to produce hundreds of millions of XBAW filters per year. We continue to add key hires across our sales, design and manufacturing teams.

Beyond our current expansion project, the company is positioned to scale as our current New York wafer fab can ultimately produce up to 5 billion XBAW filters per year when we're fully equipped. I would like to thank those who have joined us on the call today. We continue to build our company around strong management and technical staff, strong intellectual property, which currently includes 33 issued and licensed patents and some 73 patents pending, large and growing markets with limited historical competition in the high-band and ultrahigh-band spectrum and our qualified wafer manufacturing operation, which is expanding to address high-growth opportunities in our target end markets. Next, I would like to highlight the addition of Mike McGuire, former Grant Thornton CEO, to our board of directors.

Mike brings a wealth of operational and transaction experience to the board, and we are fortunate to have him join the team at Akoustis. We are very successfully penetrating the WiFi market with our first design win with the world's first tandem 5.2 and 5.6 gigahertz ultrahigh band BAW filter solution, which will be in a consumer product for sale on the shelves for the holiday season. We are shipping WiFi 6E filter solutions to multiple OEMs, ODMs, and SoC makers and already have a strategic purchase agreement in this next-generation networking standard. Additionally, our 5G engagements with global leaders in both network infrastructure and mobile handset markets have led to four design wins in small cell base stations with our two customers.

And now we are experiencing early success in CBRS and 5G mobile RF front-end modules, providing Akoustis with technology validation from multiple OEMs and strong growth opportunities in high-performance coexistence with BAW RF filters. And finally, I am forever grateful to our employees for their hard work, passion, and dedication during this ongoing pandemic as our team has kept the momentum going on our R&D, which has led to multiple design wins across WiFi, 5G network infrastructure, and the defense market. We are also seeing increased activity in the mobile market, driven by these new and expanding wafer-level packaging capabilities. I also wish to thank our shareholders who continue to support the company.

And so with that, I would like to open the call for questions from the investment community. Operator, please go ahead with the first question.

Questions & Answers:


[Operator instructions] Our first question today is coming from Anthony Stoss from Craig-Hallum. Your line is now live.

Anthony Stoss -- Craig-Hallum Capital Group -- Analyst

Good morning, guys. Jeff, I'm curious if you can shed a little bit more light on this morning's press release with the RF module maker, which frequencies that they're targeting and perhaps you can size that opportunity for us? And then also, thanks for the update on the 5G massive MIMO new spec. Can you also share any updated thoughts on when volume production might begin with that same customer? Thanks.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Tony. Good morning. I'm going to have Dave kick off first comments here on the announcement this morning, and then I'll follow up, and we'll also touch on the massive MIMO opportunity.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Good morning, Tony. Dave Aichele.

Anthony Stoss -- Craig-Hallum Capital Group -- Analyst

Good morning.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Appreciate the question, opportunity to, I guess, share a little bit more about the news that we announced this morning. So this is with a leading RF front-end module manufacturer. And there are opportunities -- multiple opportunities, as we commented, with this customer. The main focus right now is with our WiFi coexist with 5G cellular.

And the frequency coverage that we can support with this customer is going to be from 2 gigahertz up to 7 gigahertz. So we're not disclosing the exact frequencies right now, but the plan is that we'll work both WiFi and also the 5G spectrum. And the potential on this is supporting both the China market with what I call the Tier 2, Tier 1.5 customers, along with the potential with the Tier 1s as well. So we're going to really work with them closely on developing a solution that can be integrated into their module, meeting the form factor and, obviously, the target specs.

And then with respect to the massive MIMO, and Jeff can comment as well. Yes, we're making good traction with the customer. Confidence is high that we'll be able to deliver solution that is meeting the specs and then really to sit down with them to align with insertion point and to ramp. So I think the guidance is middle of the year.

But once we deliver that solution to the customer, we'll be able to have more specifics that we can share with you on the next call.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

OK, Tony. And I'm going to add to that, just with the 5G mobile opportunity, Dave emphasized that's a coexistence filter. So in that particular -- we're working with a module partner that does not -- that lacks access to bulk acoustic wave technology, which is critical for coexistence. So the bands that they're focused on are very difficult to really address with competing filter technology.

So we feel there's a good match in that we plug a key hole. I do like reminding people that relative to the number of module players that are out there, there are very few opportunities or options for supplying -- or suppliers of bulk acoustic wave. Jumping over to the massive MIMO opportunity, I'll just augment a couple of comments that Dave made. We've been working several channels of this.

Number one is getting set up as a supplier with this customer. That's not a trivial step. So Dave has mentioned we've good traction in multiple fronts. I'd also like to touch on just the technical confidence that we have in the designs.

We've been working multiple -- this is a very difficult design. It pushes the power envelope. We're very comfortable on that power spec, but these specs that are in -- that we have to meet are some -- and you're looking at greater than five pages of spec requirements that you have to hit all of them. So I would characterize this latest spin as somewhat of a cleanup spin.

And we've been -- and we've also been busy, as you can tell from the various areas we've been -- we discussed in the prepared comments, in WiFi and also in small cell. So these wafers have been moving through the fab, and we're certainly confident and that we're on track for delivery of final parts this quarter. So those are my comments to add to Dave's.

Anthony Stoss -- Craig-Hallum Capital Group -- Analyst

OK. Thank you. One quick follow-up related to the wafer-level packaging. How much do you need to spend on capex, I guess, heading in or in 2021 to be prepared for volume production into the handset space? Are you far along or any comments would be helpful. Thanks.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And so far -- so I think what we said in the prepared comments is we felt we could support one to two customers in the Tier 2 market with what we're already investing in terms of capacity. So if we start looking at in the Tier 1, then we're now -- then you have to talk about a next phase of expansion, but we would structure any agreement that would require higher capacity. We would structure that where we got -- we would have some assistance from our customer in terms of expansion of that capacity and/or commitment.

But I think the answer to your -- the customers we have announced this morning, we believe we can service with the existing 500% capacity expansion. Ken may want to add to that.

Ken Boller -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Just to add to what Jeff mentioned, we have about $5 million to $7 million of additional spend over the next seven months to enable us to achieve that stated goal of 500% capacity expansion in our New York fab, just to give a little flavor for what is left reaching that goal.

Anthony Stoss -- Craig-Hallum Capital Group -- Analyst

Great job, guys. Thank you.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Tony.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Thanks, Tony.


Our next question today is coming from Cody Acree from Loop Capital. Your line is now live.

Cody Acree -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

Yes, guys. Thanks for taking my questions. Just two quick ones. If you look out to next year, what -- without giving guidance for the full year, can you just talk about what the mix is expected to look like and maybe as you enter the year versus how you expect to exit the year?

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

OK. Maybe let me talk about kind of what -- where we see strength in the business right now. And I always like referencing these sorts of discussions with where we really are now, not only with the product portfolio, but where we are in the sales funnel. We tried to put some significant -- or add significant confidence in the WiFi 6 business, and so we feel we've got a solution there.

We've got a good channel to market. We've got multiple customers in the -- advanced in the sales funnel. And I think we mentioned even in the milestones, we expected to add one to two design wins by the end of the year. So that's coming along pretty well.

In addition to the WiFi 6 is WiFi 6E. Here, I like commenting we've been -- we were first in the WiFi 6 market with our tandem filter solution. We're also first in the WiFi 6E market with a tandem filter solution. What is different is that the WiFi 6E market is just -- is very much in the early innings.

It's just commencing. So the difference for us is that we've been focused on really getting on reference designs in WiFi 6E, whereas those were already completed when we were entering the market in WiFi 6. So we've successfully ramped in WiFi 6 in the 5 gigahertz portfolio that we've now announced, and we've been shipping that. We mentioned that consumer unit is going to be -- we expect to be fully available this quarter for the holiday season.

That customer has given us a forecast for the next 12 months, which gives us confidence for our capacity planning and certainly see and -- they see upside in that. So it's going to be -- next year is going to have the -- will be a heavy dose of WiFi 6. We're adding WiFi 6E to that. We've announced catalog-based solutions in WiFi 6E as well as their custom-based solutions that are, call it, derivatives of those standard products, which we're comfortably addressing.

So we see WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E as a very comfortable portion of the mix in next year. We've mentioned four design wins in small cell 5G infrastructure. This market was projected to have very high growth and slow down a bit in the second half of this calendar year. We're also expecting that -- we're expecting small cell infrastructure to grow rapidly for next year.

We feel the product portfolio is finished in that segment, where, as Dave mentioned, we expect to be entering negotiations in with this first 5G infrastructure customer. And that has opportunity of kicking in second half of next year. And then I think what we mentioned this morning is we've added a second customer, so we have two active customers in mobile. And the second customer has a ramp plan scheduled for second half of next year.

So I would say, all in with our -- and when you factor in where we are in the sales funnel with where we are in the product portfolio phase, I could see a scenario where we're very well diversified among those three markets, one-third, one-third, and one-third, depending on how design wins goes, how product launches go. But in terms of absolute number, we've been -- we started giving forecast on a quarter-by-quarter basis. And we've done so this morning, expecting -- and just to reiterate what we said is we're going to be up 50% in our December quarter, minimum of 50% from what we hit in our September quarter, so -- but that's what next year looks like. Let's see if Dave wants to add any color to kind of how you see next year.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Yes. I think Jeff gave a good description. Just a little bit more color. The WiFi 6, the activity level is good, but it is one that we're working more directly with the ODMs and the OEMs instead of being on the reference design, whereas these activities on the WiFi 6E is pretty intense.

There's a lot of activity there. So we're working both with the chipset vendors and the ODMs and the OEMs concurrently. And the -- so I think the mix in the revenue is going to be higher with the WiFi in the first quarter and second quarter of next year. The small cell will continue to ramp.

And as Jeff highlighted, we did see such slowdown. The China market, if you've seen any of the reports recently is -- started looking at investing more into the small cell architecture, particularly for urban settings. So we expect that volume to continue to drive. And as we get into this massive MIMO, that will be appreciable as it gets into the second half.

And then obviously, the mobile ramp is really the second half. So I think that's a good description of one-third, one-third, one-third by the end of next year.

Cody Acree -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

Great. Thank you, guys. Appreciate that. And then lastly, could you maybe talk about -- maybe, Dave, what you're seeing as far as ASP trends? Are some of these early design wins being earned at significant discounts to what you're expecting longer term? If you can just kind of talk about what your thoughts are for next year?

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Yes. So yes, on the WiFi side, the WiFi 6, we still get a premium versus some of the DR-type technology out there, but the premium is not as high as what we can get on the WiFi 6E, mainly because the technology is rather pretty competitive with the DR. At WiFi 6E, we are getting the premium, but we have to be competitive to continue to win the design slots and ramps. And really the good news is for us -- and also making sure that we price it appropriately in our market, WiFi 6E is we're enabling solutions architectures with the OEMs that you cannot get with the incumbent DR technology out there, mainly in that they lose the first 160 megahertz channel in the 6 gigahertz band.

And that is not -- that's a penalty that the OEMs and the chipset providers do not want to pay. So we can get a premium that's above, obviously, the premium we get in the WiFi 6. So I think we'll continue to ramp both our WiFi 6 and the WiFi 6E and, obviously, improve on our margins as we get into the WiFi 6E, which will also be a larger percentage of the market for tri-band solutions as the networks get deployed. And then in small cell, we're very well positioned there.

We also get a premium based on the technology. It's a micro acoustic filter that competes against traditional ceramics that you can't get to this size and to the coexist performance. So we -- and also, the price point there is higher than what we currently see in WiFi and also in the mobile, and it's utilizing the same technology. So this is really favorable from a margin standpoint as well.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And Cody, I'll just add. Just as a reminder, just what it is we're building, so it's -- ours is a 6-inch silicon substrate-based approach. And I think that what we're seeing now that we've successfully ramped, other key pieces to that in terms of just our cost structure is just yield.

And we are building and shipping now into the million of pieces with extremely high yield. So we're very comfortable with the yields that we're getting that this allow us to now ship in that volume. And there's always a lot of work when you're talking about optimizing yield and maximizing yield. We've got a tremendous team here that's focused on that.

And again, these are very high-precision filters that in the -- in these frequencies. So they're not really able to produce and -- but we've got teams that are keeping these yields very high. And so just from the -- being comfortable to playing all of the markets that we've mentioned this morning, it's extremely important that not only that we're on this silicon platform, but then that we're getting high yields. So I just want to add that to what Dave said because that's a big enabler for us to compete in all of these markets.

Cody Acree -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

OK. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Thanks, Cody.


Thank you. Our next question today is coming from Suji Desilva from ROTH Capital. Your line is now live.

Suji Desilva -- ROTH Capital -- Analyst

Good morning, Jeff, Ken, Dave. Congrats on the progress here. Two quick questions, I think. First of all, just a clarification on WiFi.

When you did tri-band initially, the 5.2 gigahertz filter went out before the 5.6 and then the tandem solutions went in. For 6E with the 5.5 and the 6.5, will there be this phenomenon of one filter then both or will it be tandem solutions right out of the gate?

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dave, touch on that.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Good morning, Suji. Right now, it's pretty much tandem that maybe lagged by about a week or weeks, but not what we saw at the 5.2 and 5.6. And I think part of the reason there is, obviously, the progress we've made in our models and also the 5.6 was leading the charge for the increase in the bandwidth. And we've just -- with the success of that, have been able to leverage that with the 5.5 and the 6.5, which are both very wide bandwidth as well.

So we've been successful in delivering the tandem solutions to our customers. We've received new orders as we have announced and we've been able to ship, and that activity is going to continue. The good thing is that we're getting orders based on the what we call ES1 samples that we're shipping right now. And then with the final design lock that we're targeting the end of this year, that activity level is going to increase.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. And, Suji, hi. It's Jeff. I just would add to it.

One key difference in WiFi 6, as you mentioned, where we had staggered deployment of the two filters, in that particular instance, we were developing -- we had to develop piezoelectric materials that we -- that could handle the wider bandwidth requirement for the 5.6. So those -- we're starting in a situation with the 5.5 and 6.5 where we have the starting core materials to go off and do the designs. And so we've allocated resources in the design area to focus on both. And that means they can come out together, and we don't have this staggered deployment and like what we had with WiFi 6 in the 5.2 and the 5.6.

Suji Desilva -- ROTH Capital -- Analyst

OK. That's helpful clarification. And then on the manufacturing side, just curious with the ramp plans and the capacity adds. Are you seeing any movement in equipment lead times or is that stable? Are you able to get the equipment as scheduled? Thanks.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Thank you. Thank you for that. So let me touch on -- and I think the -- for our growth plan, I think it's important to understand these moving pieces in the fab.

We have several things ongoing. We now have commenced on the second shift of operation that really expands the capacity with the current equipment we had. But your question was toward lead times and capital equipment. What we saw earlier in the pandemic was we had ordered some equipment, and we were challenged with getting the right, I'll call it, the factory installers to come in and to install equipment.

That was very early on in the pandemic. If you look at more recently, what we see is we've -- so staying within the regulations of New York state, we've got a good work around on how to get that done. But to the equipment lead times, we're monitoring that very closely. And I guess those few -- if I look at the full list of things of things that we're -- that we have to have to scale, it can range anywhere from -- we get ranges from anywhere from three months of lead time for certain pieces of equipment, and then some additional equipment can be up to 10 months to 12 months that can be quoted.

And so we keep a running track of what that looks like so we can really -- and we know what's long lead and what we need to release if we need to pull certain triggers on capacity.

Suji Desilva -- ROTH Capital -- Analyst

OK. Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Suji.


Thank you. Our next question is coming from Rick Schafer from Oppenheimer. Your line is now live.

Rick Schafer -- Oppenheimer and Company -- Analyst

I'll add my congratulations to you guys. Hey, Jeff, my first question -- and maybe I'm reading between the lines too much here from the earlier comments. But I mean, are you shifting your stance at all regarding strategic partnership for Tier 1 mobile or entry into that market? I'm just curious. I mean could you do it alone? I'm thinking if you did, what time line that might look like? And I'm also thinking, I mean, if you did take that stance, I mean, could you partner directly with a Tier 1 handset OEM, which I think you sort of alluded to earlier like -- and I don't mean to put words in your mouth in sort of an NRE-type model, something like that, where you could sort of ramp it in partnership with your Tier 1 customer?

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Rick. Good morning. Thanks for the question. So I don't think we're -- if you look at the prepared comments, I don't think we've done a shift in stance.

What we have said all along is that we felt we could address the Tier 2 with our current capacity, but I think we reiterated in the comments this morning that we're going to seek a partnership. If you look at -- to address this Tier 1 market, if you look to address the Tier 1 market, it's a step function in wafer requirements. And we think that the way that you have to enter that market, you really need a partner to help resource that expansion in capacity. So we're going to continue to maintain that.

I think we did emphasize the new customer is a second customer, and we haven't said much about what's going on with our first customer purposely. So our stance has not changed there. What I do want to do is comment that we have access direct to the Tier 1 OEM market. And we've actually received technology validation from several customers.

So, certainly our customers have taken samples from us through their channel into the account. So we continue to sample our technology out to OEMs as well as RF module partners, and so we're going to continue doing so and -- but the Tier 1 market, I think, from a capacity standpoint and an investment standpoint is -- would be too risky for us to change position on that to ramp up capacity in this "build it and they'll come." I think we've got some extremely other attractive markets that we're now currently ramping in, and we're going to organically grow capacity. So that's what we -- that's our current strategy is to ramp as we -- ramp capacity as we need it. And we meet monthly with our operations team, evaluating sales, looking out a minimum of 12 months and typically one to two years.

And then we look at capacity planning and also evaluate lead times just to make sure we're in position to expand accordingly.

Rick Schafer -- Oppenheimer and Company -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks for that clarification and color, Jeff. Maybe a second question, also kind of maybe a problem, but you've been winning a lot in small cell. I'm curious what you think that says about the setup in 5G small cell in particular.

And it just seems like a more bullish setup versus 4G, where I think small cell disappointed some original expectation. I mean I don't know if you can talk about why that changes or why that is changing in 5G. And maybe as part of your answer, Jeff, I'd be curious -- I mean if you could just comment on the kind of dollar content that you're seeing in your -- in all these small cell wins for Akoustis so far. Thanks.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Let me start. David and I will kind of handle this one back and forth with commentary, but I'm going to start. First thing, I think, to note is, just over the last year, what we've seen is a fairly dynamic market.

We've started with some specs that were the fairly narrow band and quickly evolved as the systems evolved. Keep in mind, in the China market, there's more than one carrier, and you've got equipment manufacturers that are trying to adapt their equipment to work with more than one carrier. And as you bolt on another carrier, and you can be bolting on the additional spectrum requirements to the filter. So we've -- I would characterize the last 12 months as a period of specification definition and as well as demonstrator for various carriers.

And I think what's been key from our end and through this pandemic is that we've reacted very fast to that as the specs have changed, and that's positioned us to be in some of our early reference designs that were shipped to various carriers in Asia and these are some of the initial equipment that was deployed for demonstration purposes. So we think from a -- as you mentioned bullish. I think we're pretty bullish on our end. We got the right portfolio.

Again, this is in these higher-frequency bands where we've got our act that together do -- design and manufacture. And we think we've appropriately followed the developments in that market, we're also -- aligned well with the right people and position ourselves for significant growth in next year and in that market. I want to have Dave comment.

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Yes. Good morning, Rick. There's a couple of comments I'll make. I've lived through the small cell growth expectations falling flat on previous years.

And what's different, I think, this year is a couple of things. Right now, with -- and if I look at China specifically, you take the mobile network operators out there. They've actually got it written into their white papers and their rollouts and looking at 5G and the spectrum is moving up in frequency. And also with massive MIMO, it's a new architecture that's fairly expensive comparable to a small cell architecture.

So it's really a blend. And if you look at it, the China ministry and the network operators are going to allocate more funds to do the small cell rollout, and it's more of a densification strategy. So we've gotten pretty good visibility on forecast for next year, and we are bullish because of what we've been seeing there. I also think that you'll see that in some other sectors around the world, even in the U.S.

As you look at the U.S., and there's really some restrictions on how you can deploy networks that are being relieved by municipalities and so forth. So deploying a small cell is not as cumbersome as it was in the past, and so there's just things here that are making it easier for that market to grow. So we're, I think, pretty well positioned from a good technology standpoint, and we'll continue to also launch a product to fill those -- the spectrum opportunities that we see in the 5G.

Rick Schafer -- Oppenheimer and Company -- Analyst

Great. Thanks for the all the color. Good luck.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Rick.


Thank you. We've reached the end of our question-and-answer session. I'd like to turn the floor back over to management for any further or closing comments.

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

OK. Wanted to end the call by saying -- I want to thank everybody for their time today. We look forward to speaking with you during our next update call to discuss current quarter execution against the milestones that we discussed this morning as well as the future expectations that we set. I want to wish everybody a safe and healthy holiday, and talk soon.

Thanks so much.


[Operator signoff]

Duration: 60 minutes

Call participants:

Tom Sepenzis -- Vice President Corporate Development and Investor Relations

Jeff Shealy -- Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Ken Boller -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Anthony Stoss -- Craig-Hallum Capital Group -- Analyst

Dave Aichele -- Executive Vice President of Business Development

Cody Acree -- Loop Capital -- Analyst

Suji Desilva -- ROTH Capital -- Analyst

Rick Schafer -- Oppenheimer and Company -- Analyst

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