Five technologies for building 5G | EDN

5G is widely considered a mobile technology that won’t be available until perhaps 2020 or 2021, and even then, not widely. 
Cisco predicts that by 2021, a 5G connection will generate 4.7 times more traffic than the average 4G connection.

5G will be a quantum leap from today’s LTE-Advanced networks. 


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Community > Blogs > 5G Waves
    Five technologies for building 5G

    Speeds and Feeds
    This area is the one where the access technology increases from 1 Gbps in LTE-Advanced to 20 Gbps throughput/downlink speed to each cell in 5G.
    Data rates of 3 Gbps is achievable without overhauling radio technologies.

    Utilizing the unlicensed spectrum
    LTE in unlicensed frequencies (LTE-U) is already being deployed now by several major carriers including T-Mobile and Verizon, while AT&T is actively pursuing virtual-machine solutions to the issue.

    IoT devices
    IoT devices pose a diverse set of requirements and challenges.

    There is no question that the sheer volume of devices will pose a huge challenge to 5G networks.
    IoT devices, unlike traditional cellular devices, are very sporadic in nature. Many of them “sleep” for long periods of time before sending just a few bytes of data. A 5G network needs to plan for infrequent, yet important, communication from these devices.
    IoT devices also open a wide variety of security threats. Many of these devices can be used to spread malware or other security attacks to the network.

    Virtualization: NFV & SDN
    The benefits of virtualization in terms of cost savings for operators, handling elastic demands of a network, and increasing choices for operators, is very clear. 5G networks, due to the extreme needs at both ends of the gamut, which includes sending a few bytes on an infrequent basis, as well as a massive increase in data for a different use case, creates a strong need, and tie, to virtualization of network functions

    NR: new radio
    The 5G-NR has not yet been standardized, and will require a new radio access technology that will increase speeds to 20 Gbps. It requires new millimeter wave (mmWave) radios, which is the band of spectrum between 30 gigahertz (GHz) and 300 GHz that can send/receive data over the air at very high speeds. Per cell bandwidth is expected to be between 10-20 Gbps, with each user potentially able to get 1 Gbps. Things like high-end augmented reality/virtual reality applications need that kind of bandwidth.

    5G-NR is the one area that is true 5G. The other four areas below have strong starting points in LTE-Advanced Pro specs and are, as a result, more evolutionary.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NYU emulator advances 5G technology towards reality

    The members of this NYU team, Dr. Aditya Dhananjay, post-doctoral research fellow, along with faculty members Sundeep Rangan and Dennis Shasha, have been able to achieve what no one in the industry has been able to do to date. Some industry experts have considered a 5G emulator, but the cost would be prohibitive, especially due to the unwieldy complexity of hundreds of mmWave antenna arrays with phased-array beamforming that require a multitude of cable runs to connect phased array antennas to the channel emulator. Complicating matters further is the fact that it is nearly impossible to connect phased array antennas to cables in the first place.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Charter, Samsung to Collaborate on 5G Trials

    Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Samsung Electronics America are collaborating on 5G and 4G LTE wireless networks lab and field trials at various locations in the United States. The trials, which began this summer, are expected to run through the end of the year.

    The 5G trial is evaluating fixed use cases using Samsung’s pre-commercial 28 GHz (mmWave) system and devices. The 4G trials are performed at 3.5 GHz (CBRS), utilizing Samsung’s combined 4G LTE small cell technology in an outdoor environment to evaluate mobile use cases.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Huber+Suhner top exec advises networks: Densification is key to 5G

    San Francisco, 13 September 2017 – Global connectivity supplier Huber+Suhner is highlighting the importance of densified networks at this year’s Mobile World Congress Americas in San Francisco.

    “As 5G emerges we need to ensure that we accommodate the massive data expansion without any issues, and that operators are able to cater for expanding capacity needs,” said Hollywood, speaking ahead of the conference. “With C-RAN, the huge bandwidth demand needed for 5G applications can be managed economically and rollout speed of new network elements can be significantly improved.”

    Using centralized baseband units (BBUs) in a C-RAN architecture, multiple remote radio heads can be connected from one place, reducing the need for decentralized infrastructure and therefore operational cost.

    Huber+Suhner is promoting C-RAN by launching a range of solutions at Mobile World Congress Americas this year. It covers all aspects of efficient and scalable fiber management in the central office, addressing fiber exhaust issues in the access network and reliable connectivity at cell site. On top of it the solution adds the ability for future remote reconfiguration to the optical layer of the network.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    17 Views of Mobile World Congress
    Verizon opens a window for 5G

    Verizon showed 5G prototypes built by Nokia Bell Labs to deliver Gbit/s Internet access to the home over 28 GHz bands. The goal is to let consumers buy a system in a retail shop they can install themselves.

    The trick is the 256 QAM signals from a neighborhood 5G base station (above) up to 500 meters away can’t penetrate multi-pane windows in the home. So, Nokia developed a two-part consumer modem that is currently delivering 1.5 Gbits/s in trials, well above Verizon’s target.

    A receiver (below) sits outside the window. It down converts the 28 GHz signal to a frequency closer to Wi-Fi bands and sends it through the window to an internal modem while drawing about an ampere of power wirelessly from the wired modem inside. The two devices use magnets to auto-align their position.

    AT&T is testing similar concepts for fixed-wireless access over 5G. Both companies said they hope to start services before the end of 2018.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Community > Blogs > 5G Waves
    Movandi optimizes mmWave 5G front ends

    Anyone who has visited the Movandi website already knew the high-profile startup was working on technology for high-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands. The company finally emerged from stealth mode, providing a few more particulars on its portfolio of products for 5G base stations and similar products.

    The company expects its technology, branded as BeamX, will make it far easier and less expensive to create customer premise equipment (CPE) for 5G wireless networks and satellite communications systems.

    Radio technology for wireless networks operating at 6 GHz and below is fairly well understood. Around the world, additional bands of spectrum have been set aside for 5G network use, including frequencies from 26 GHz to 40 GHz – millimeter wave bands.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finland launches 5G pilot pilots

    Nokia Bell Labs is launching a new WAVE (WIreless for VErticals) project related to the Internet of Things. It introduces new wireless technologies, especially 5G, for new industries. The purpose is to test services in test environments outside the laboratory. The two-year project is funded by Tekes.

    The new WIVE (Wireless for VErticals) project has, besides Nokia, many other participants in the business world, research institutes and universities. In addition to Nokia, Teleste, Telia, ABB, Nordic Semiconductor, Cargotec Kalmar, Broadcasting, Digita, FICORA, Aalto, Turku University, Åbo Akademi, Turun amk and Tampere University of Technology and VTT are also involved. Funding is Tekes. The research world is led by Turku University of Applied Sciences.

    New research is needed, as within the next ten years, estimated tens of billions of connected devices will be combined into intelligent and programmable systems. The change will affect, for example, traffic and resource use, learning and work, health and wellbeing.


  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Managing Peak Power

    Slimmer margins and more data create big challenges for 5G mobile devices, infrastructure and within data centers.

    Preparing for 5G
    5G is shaking up the communications landscape with the promise of high-definition streaming video and less wait time for Internet access and downloads, but it also is raising questions about how to cope with much tighter power budgets. Peak power is a key part of this discussion.

    “People talk about 5G as it relates to the application of the chip,” said Christen Decoin, product management director for the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. “There are different power demands when it’s a device that’s constantly used versus something like a cellphone. You leave it in your pocket and it’s working in a standby mode. Then there will be a surge of power when it is used. However, a 5G chip is going to be working 24/7. In this kind of utilization, the peak power might burn out the chip, because when all of the simulations are done the engineering team looks at the everyday usage. But if for any reason there is a peak in the power equation, you might kill the chip.”

    Every kind of power is important right now because of battery-powered applications from peak power to average power, and static power to transient power. Specifically, peak power happens in a very active functional mode in a specific device, whereby it consumes a lot of power in a certain period of time and draws a lot of current from the battery.

    A slow wakeup cycle will smooth out the in-rush current and reduce peak power. But that has to be balanced against the user experience, because if it takes a long time to swap from voice mode to video mode, users will choose a different device.

    “With the transition to 3G to 4G to 5G, and wireless, battery-operated devices, the concept of peak power has become even more important,”

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cadence’s Madhavi Rao listens in as Qualcomm’s Venugopal Puvvada discusses the rise of machine learning and why 5G is necessary for mission-critical services.

    CDNLive India Keynote: Qualcomm On 5G And More

    Venu’s keynote talked about designing a 7nm 5G chip in India. Qualcomm is, of course, at the forefront of 5G wireless technology innovation. Venu started by saying that while there many 5G SoC design challenges, it is mobile that’s driving some of the latest technology nodes, 7nm in particular.

    And that, he said, is an area chip firms need to work together with EDA partners to crack, with special attention paid to machine learning (ML). Talking about how Qualcomm will design a 7nm 5G chip in India, Venu remarked that with over 7 billion people in the world, there are 3.5 billion unique mobile users, of which 2 billion are smartphones users – all quite staggering statistics.

    3G vs 4G vs 5G

    Venu called 5G a unifying connectivity fabric which addressed enhanced mobile fabric, mission critical services and massive IoT.

    A bit more about 5G and mission-critical services: as Venu saw it, the difference between 5G and 4G is that 5G is about Gbps data speed and mission-critical services. Such services are about high reliability – such as in automotive when your self-driving car is talking to another self-driving car, causing the need for very high reliability along with a good amount of data to be shared. So handling and supporting mission-critical devices is the critical differentiator for 5G, especially with the massive IoT wave that we are expecting.

    SOCs for mobile and IOT – Designing at 7nm

    Talking about mobile and IoT is talking about hundreds of millions of devices, necessitating utilizations in blocks and chips, a challenge well understood by physical design engineers. Thermal power performance efficiency is another issue. Yet, everyone wants to be the first to market, with differentiation. Doing this, to him, is the biggest factor to keep in mind when doing chip design!

    Puvvada pointed out to multiple challenges for the mobile SoC – cost, power, performance, time or schedule, heat (thermal issues), the technology nodes to be used, what mode gives the best cost options and the best power-performance tradeoff, and wondered aloud about what would be a strategy to tackle this multitude of challenges.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Movandi optimizes mmWave 5G front ends

    Radio technology for wireless networks operating at 6 GHz and below is fairly well understood. Around the world, additional bands of spectrum have been set aside for 5G network use, including frequencies from 26 GHz to 40 GHz – millimeter wave bands.

    Millimeter wave technology has been used mostly in military systems and is still bulky, expensive, and somewhat exotic, according to Maryam Rofougaran, co-CEO and COO of Movandi. For 5G applications, she said, “there is a lot of innovation that has to be done.”

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MediaTek, Huawei Partner in 5G Development

    MediaTek and Huawei, China’s largest mobile phone maker, have completed 5G tests in Beijing with the aim of building an industry ecosystem that includes 5G terminals, chipsets, instruments, and networks.

    MediaTek said that it has completed a prototype terminal that meets the 3GPP 5G standard as well as development and integration of eight mobile-phone-sized antennas. The company said that it and Huawei are the first companies to finish a 5G new radio (NR) interoperability and docking test (IODT) at a transmission rate of more than 5 Gbps.

    The work in China comes as operators in the U.S. aim at rolling out 5G as early as next year. The new standard is likely to take over a lot of the telecommunications load that is currently handled by fixed-line technology in residential and manufacturing environments.

    “The new 5G terminals will play an important role,” said Kevin Jou, chief technology officer at MediaTek. “We are pleased that MediaTek and Huawei successfully completed the IODT testing. This will be a milestone for 5G terminal innovation, product development, and even for a commercial launch.”

    MediaTek said that it will promote the development of a global standard for 5G by working with industry partners and governments with the aim of commercializing 5G in the sub-6-GHz band by 2020.

    The round-trip time for a packet to move between a 5G new radio and the radio access network and back is three milliseconds, down from 20 for LTE. NR will support frequencies from 600 MHz to 100 GHz and channels from 20 to more than 100 MHz, and it can dynamically change the ratio of upstream to downstream traffic that it supports.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G is a huge jump for base station technology

    Standardization of 5G network technology is still under way, but it is already known that it will mean major changes for both operators and equipment manufacturers. Data rates increase by several milliseconds as the link requires a delay of less than a millisecond, so solutions between antennas, network controllers and the backbone network will significantly revolutionize existing 4G implementations.

    Oulu’s Sarokal Test Systems has introduced an X-STEP V tester that meets many of these new requirements. It supports eCPRI specifications and up to 25 gigabit data rates between antenna and baseband. Corner Technology Director Kari Vierimaa says speed increase is a big jump. But is it enough for future networks?

    - It’s enough and not enough. Currently, CPRI implementations in the field use 2.5 gigabytes of speed, so the latest speed is 10x this way. Depending on the technology and architecture used, the data rate between the antenna and the base station will vary from 10 to 150 gigabytes. When there may be tens or hundreds of antennas at one base station, data volumes begin to be huge, Vierimaa describes.

    However, the 5G architecture has been developed in a decentralized way to find out the huge amount of data and speed requirements. Some signal processing is done outside the traditional base station, even in the antenna element. All the calculations can not be concentrated in one place, according to Vierima.

    - Part of the calculation is distributed to the network. Virtual access point solutions will become more common, allowing the same server center to spin, for example, Facebook services and base station counting. Resources are then distributed according to usage and traffic is directed to where users are at any moment.

    According to Vierima, the connection between the base station and the antenna – the technical term is fronthaul – should be divided into different levels. – At the moment, the world is talking about Fronthaul 1, 2 and 3 levels and each level will have its own demands for time accuracy, latency and speed.

    - The data volume of the fronthuilla is easily increased by more than 25 gigabytes, and it is compulsory to use several parallel links. If necessary, some of the signal processing is done on the analog side, whereby the amount of data to be transferred to the router will be reduced in the first fronthaul link. In order to reach very fast 5G response times in critical network services, some of the traffic can be directly directed to the desired service from the router. In this case, the router provides a part of the core network services, Vierimaa clarifies.


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finnish stenter at the top of the 5G development

    Sarokal Test Systems, Oulu, has introduced a new tester to generate, measure and correct upcoming 5G radio traffic. The X-STEP V tester is designed specifically for the product development of new protocols and bit rates of the 5G radio head.

    According to the company, the device is already receiving customer deliveries this month. For example, the device has already demographed the CPRI data transfer over the Ethernet bus at 25 gigabytes.

    Sarocal supports new eCPRI specifications among the first measuring equipment manufacturers. The latest CPRI specification was released only at the end of August, but the new X-STEP V already supports these configurations.

    The new eCPRI protocol allows, for example, flexible bandwidth scaling for user traffic as needed.


  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Sprint Led by Marathon Man
    Under a deadline, 5G radio spec slims down

    Wanshi Chen is on the hot seat for 5G.

    The chairman of the 3GPP’s RAN1 committee is tasked with delivering by the end of the year a draft for the next-generation cellular radio. The spec will form the blueprint for silicon needed to make the first standard 5G connection.

    On one side, carriers and their vendors are calling for the specs ASAP so they can test and launch 5G services as early as next year. On the other side, as many as 800 engineers are showing up at meetings of Chen’s group, submitting as many as 3,000 proposals per meeting in hopes of getting a feature in the spec.

    “Some sessions have run as late as 1 a.m., but a typical day is 12 hours,” said Chen, a principal engineer at Qualcomm who was elected chair of RAN1 in August after nine years attending meetings, four of them as a vice chair.

    The idea is to capture in the December draft everything required in hardware. “Anything after December has to be optional … with no hardware impact, but it’s hard to be 100% sure we’ve done the full due diligence … different features have different interest levels from different operators and vendors,” he said. “It’s hard to converge.”

    For its part, Verizon rallied Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, and others around its 5GTF in late 2015. The spec aims to be the foundation for a last-mile wireless service for consumers that Verizon hopes to switch on next year.

    “We had to have something to test … the 3GPP timing is still suspect,” said Sanyogita Shamsunder, executive director of 5G ecosystem planning at Verizon, in a brief interview on the show floor of the Mobile World Congress Americas earlier this month.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia and Bosch Demonstrate 5G Technology for Industrial Plant Data Transfer News – 09/29/2017

    Nokia and Bosch will present the demo developed by the European Digital Summit in Tallinn, which will model how the 5G mobile standard allows the implementation of a variety of Industry 4.0 solutions.

    The 5G standard increases the mobile data transfer rate by more than ten gigabits per second, improving both the real-time performance and reliability of data transfer.

    “We are researching together with Nokia the opportunities that the large bandwidth of the 5G network will open to the future mills,” says Rolf Najork, Managing Director of Bosch Rexroth.

    “We want to expand the 5G collaboration with Nokia to other areas, such as the added reality, the development of independent and automated transport systems for indoor material flow processing and cloud-based production applications,” says Rolf Najork, Managing Director of Bosch Rexroth.


  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Clock circuit for 5G base stations

    Base station manufacturers are already designing iron that reaches the fast speed and latency requirements of the 5G networks. Future base stations also need new components. Silicon Labs’ new clock circuit solves one part of the tedious 5G equation.

    The SiLabs Si5381 / 82/86 clock circuit is the first chip on the market that generates a clock signal for both the LTE / 5G base station and the Ethernet interface. It is specially designed for new 5G base stations using eCPRI.

    The recently announced eCPRI specification supports the so-called ” the connection of the distributed base stations – where the antenna and calculation section elements are connected to one of the Ethernet bays. Until now, such a solution would have required the use of several clock circuits. The SiLabs novelty synchronizes both parts with a new base station.

    In addition, the circuits have a voltage controlled VCXO crystal oscillator. A more integrated solution enables smaller device implementations, which is an important requirement for 5G networks consisting of smaller cells.


  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung ‘very patient’ when it comes to U.S. infrastructure market

    While Samsung Electronics America’s networks business in the United States has been involved in plenty of 5G tests and trials, the next generation—or revolution—in wireless technology represents an opportunity for the Korean company to break into the U.S. wireless infrastructure market in a big way.

    The company is well known for its R&D in 5G in the U.S., but its actual market share with operators is minimal. The company is a femtocell supplier to Verizon, but that’s pretty much it for the big guys. It is, however, a supplier to the smaller Sprint and involved in trials with the other U.S. operators.

    With 5G, “we’ve definitely gained, maybe not in a PO fashion or revenue yet, but if you look throughout the industry, Samsung’s leadership in 5G has been acknowledged by a number of people,” said the vice president of the Next Generation Business Team at Samsung Electronics, Woojune Kim.

    Every time there’s an inflection point in the industry, there’s opportunity. “Samsung Networks has always been very patient,” he told FierceWirelessTech. “We’ve been in the U.S. for over 20 years, our networking business has been around for about 40 years,”

    Earl Lum, president of EJL Wireless Research, said Samsung’s place in the U.S. is very interesting in 5G compared to where it’s at in 4G. As one of its primary suppliers, Samsung has a decent footprint with Sprint right now with CDMA and LTE.

    Samsung has an opportunity to grow market share with the other operators in 5G, but how much is obviously tough to say at this point. “If you look at where 5G will be, they have an opportunity to grow that share, given the fact that when you deploy 5G, you can do it in islands or cities/towns of 5G” and you don’t need a nationwide footprint when you deploy 5G, Lum told FierceWirelessTech.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Circuit Materials Help Build 5G from the Ground Up

    These PTFE-based, ceramic-filled, glass-reinforced circuit materials provide cost-effective stable mechanical and electrical properties needed for mm-wave circuits.

    Large amounts of bandwidth will be needed for transferring the huge volumes of data projected to be part of 5G wireless networks, and millimeter-wave frequencies offer the amounts of bandwidth needed. Of course, to make use of that bandwidth at frequencies such as 60 GHz, practical circuits including transceivers, antennas, and amplifiers must be designed and implemented, and the foundation of those circuits is the printed-circuit-board (PCB) material. For effective use at millimeter-wave frequencies, a PCB material must fulfill a set of requirements that can be unique to that frequency range (above about 30 GHz). Fortunately, the latest high-frequency circuit material from Rogers Corp., CLTE-MW laminates, features the characteristics uniquely suited to millimeter-wave applications.

    Material Requirements

    Millimeter-wave frequencies are being looked upon for backhaul and other short-range communication links within 5G systems. In addition to being affordable, the circuit materials for such applications must meet a number of challenges resulting from the short wavelengths and limited energy available at millimeter-wave frequencies. Antennas for 5G networks, for example, are expected to employ large multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) arrays of elements which will be fabricated on multilayer circuit boards requiring low loss, low dielectric constant (Dk), and stable electrical and mechanical properties to achieve consistency among the many antenna elements.

    CLTE-MW laminates meet these requirements with typical Dk values ranging from 2.94 to 3.05 at 10 GHz (depending upon the thickness of the material)

    An important material specification for circuits in which considerable power is generated or transferred, such as amplifiers and transmit antennas, is coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE).

    In addition to 5G, the CLTE-MW materials are candidates for commercial, industrial, and military microwave and millimeter-wave applications, including automotive radar systems.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mini-Circuits, X-Microwave Partner to Speed Prototyping

    A wide diversity of Mini-Circuits components are available for prototyping with the X-Microwave solderless drop-in module approach.

    Mini-Circuits, a long trusted supplier of RF/microwave components, is teaming up with X-Microwave to offer the company’s components on X-Microwave’s X-MWblock drop-in module format. By employing the modular, solderless drop-in system along with companion hardware, software, and simulation tools, designers using Mini-Circuits components can speed and simplify the process of evaluating components working together in subsystems and subassemblies, such as receivers or transmitters. Furthermore, they can quickly redesign and optimize their assemblies as needed thanks to the flexible, modular nature of the X-Microwave approach.

    Over 400 X-MWblocks are initially available for Mini-Circuits components, including filters, amplifiers, mixers, multipliers, limiters, couplers, switches, power dividers/combiners, and attenuators, with more planned.

    The X-MWsystem drop-in prototyping approach already features components from Analog Devices, Custom MMIC, and others. Using these drop-in X-MWblock components as part of an assembly or subsystem makes it possible to evaluate the interactions among the components, such as reflections or mismatches, in software as well as in hardware.

    The X-MWsystem essentially adapts components of many different shapes and sizes to a universal package known as an X-MWblock. Adapting different types of components from different suppliers to common launch geometries and mounting arrangements helps simplify integration and speed assembly of multi-function subsystem

    Assembled X-MWprotostations can be connected for testing using X-MWcables and custom X-MWprobes. The RF probes consist of a 1.85- or 2.92-mm female coaxial connector capable of operating to 67 GHz and 50 GHz, respectively. The probes can connect to any X-MWblock as a ground-signal-ground (GSG) probe.

    By using this universal connector and packaging approach, the X-MWsystem makes it possible to eliminate the need for custom evaluation boards while adapting to other components with different connector types.

    Components available as X-MWblocks are well supported by models based on S-parameter measurements for linear devices and X-parameter measurements for nonlinear devices.

    n support of physical designs, an online Mechanical Layout Tool (MLT) allows users to move two-dimensional (2D) component representations around a layout grid that serves as a form of map to configure actual components on a solderless prototyping plate for testing and design validation. The drop-in components can then be assembled in compatible production housings that support of a full drop-in approach to system design.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will Startups be the Key Ingredient to 5G’s Success?

    Startup companies are developing innovative technology that could ultimately bring them to the forefront in the 5G arena.

    It would be wise to pay attention to what these startup companies have to offer—a number of them are invested in developing technology solutions for 5G. Since 5G still is not defined, startups could assume essential roles in making it a reality.

    One startup focused on 5G communications is PHAZR, which has developed a solution known as Quadplex. This technology utilizes millimeter-wave frequencies for the downlink while using sub-6-GHz frequencies for the uplink. The company believes its technology can enable “high-performance, cost-effective, and power-efficient 5G systems.”

    Another startup company fixated on 5G is Movandi. The company works extensively with millimeter-wave frequencies—its BeamX front end integrates RF, antenna, beamforming, and control algorithms into a modular, 5G millimeter-wave solution. Movandi’s goal is to help accelerate 5G deployments and grow the market faster.

    Startup GenXComm has also thrown its hat into the 5G ring. With its simultaneous self-interference cancellation (S-SIX) technology, the company is targeting the 5G market, among others. There’s also NYC-based MilliLabs, which is focused on channel sounding and channel emulation.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rambus’ Aharon Etengoff argues that 5G and fog computing will enable computation to migrate towards the edges of the network, improving the ability to analyze large amounts of data for IoT and mobile devices.

    Living on the edge with 5G and fog computing

    What is fog computing?

    What to call it? In 2014, Cisco coined the term “fog computing,” later creating the Open Fog Consortium with
    the participation of ARM, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Princeton University (as founding members). As of mid-2017, the consortium counts 56 total members. Put simply, fog computing extends the cloud to be closer to the things that produce and act on IoT data.

    These devices, which Cisco refers to as ‘fog nodes,’ can be deployed anywhere with a network connection. As Cisco notes, fog nodes can be found “on a factory floor, on top of a power pole, alongside a railway track, in a vehicle, or on an oil rig. Any device with computing, storage, and network connectivity can be a fog node.” Fog nodes come in all shapes and sizes, and can include desktop, laptop or video surveillance cameras, power ports, as well as switches and routers.
    Bright lights, smart cities

    One current role of the IoT is to enable the deployment of smart, connected smart city infrastructure. As an example, a community in Bellevue, Washington recently installed smart traffic lights that respond to traffic conditions in real-time.

    In the future, more robust adaptive lights, equipped with video cameras and a network of sensors on the streets, will be able to automatically sense certain types of cars and objects – perhaps to the point of identifying individual pedestrians and calculating the distance as well as speed of an approaching vehicle. As such, the densely-distributed data collection points provided by fog/edge computing have never been more important, especially with a need to rapidly crunch real-time data and generate actionable analytics.
    Cellular companies and 5G

    AT&T’s edge computing announcement in August illustrates the evolution of edge computing in the age of 5G. As the company notes, autonomous cars (which could potentially generate up to 3.6 terabytes of data per hour) and augmented AR/VR are demanding massive amounts of near real-time computation.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RF transformation was imported directly into the system circuitry

    The FPGA manufacturer Xilinx has begun providing its customers with first samples of Zynq system circuits that have an integrated RF signal chain for 5G base stations, for example. By means of technology, signal processing of the 5G base station, cable modem or radar application can be achieved significantly in smaller size and lower power consumption.

    In practice, this is a 16-nanometer process Zynq system circuitry with fast AD and DA converters integrated. For example, the range includes four four gig samples or sixteen two gig samples of a 12-bit AD converter and 4-8 14-bit DA converters that sample the signal at a 6.4 gig sample rate.

    In addition, the circuits may have codecs required for 5G processing or DOCSIS 3.1 modem. The control takes place via quadratic ARM COrtex-A53 and dual-core Cortex-R5e processors. And when it comes to FPGAs, there are up to 930,000 programmable logic cells and 4200 DSP blocks.

    When the signal coming from the antenna can be directly digitized and synthesized up to 4 gigahertz, a large fraction of the intermediate frequency conversion demanded by analog components is left out.


  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New optical interface standard aims at 5G

    By now, you may have seen the announcement from the AXIe Consortium, the VITA trade organization, and six companies endorsing a new standard called the Optical Data Interface (ODI).

    ODI is a new high-speed interface for instrumentation and embedded systems. It breaks speed and distance barriers by relying on optical communication between devices, over a standard pluggable optical fiber. With speeds up to 20 GBytes/s from a single optical port, and speeds up to 80 GBytes/s through port aggregation, ODI is designed to address challenging applications in 5G communications, mil/aero systems, high-speed data acquisition, and communication research.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Introducing RFSoC

    RFSoC integrates GSPS ADCs and DACs with a Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC all of which have been fabricated using 16 nm FinFET CMOS. At this geometry and with this technology, the mixed-signal convertors are very low power and economies of scale have made it possible to add a lot of digital post-processing (Moore digital – small A/big D!) to implement functions such as DDC, DUC, AGC, and interleaving calibration.

    There will be a number of devices in the RFSoC family each containing different ADC/DAC combinations targeting different markets. Depending on the number of integrated mixed-signal convertors, Xilinx is predicting a 55 to 77% reduction in footprint compared to current discrete implementations using JESD204B high-speed serial links between the FPGA and the ADCs/DACs

    The integrated 12-bit ADCs can each sample up to 4 GSPS which offers flexible bandwidth and RF frequency planning options. The analogue input bandwidth of each ADC appears to 4 GHz which allows direct RF/IF sampling up to S-band.

    Direct RF/IF sampling obeys the bandpass Nyquist Theorem when oversampling at least twice the information bandwidth and undersampling the absolute carrier frequencies.

    As the sampling rate increases, the noise spectral density spreads across a wider Nyquist region with respect to the original signal bandwidth, e.g. each time the sampling frequency doubles, the noise spectral density decreases by 3 dB as it re-distributes across twice the bandwidth which increases dynamic range and SNR. Understandably, operators want to avail of this processing gain! A larger oversampling ratio also moves the aliases further apart relaxing the specification of the anti-aliasing filter. Furthermore, oversampling increases the correlation between successive samples in the time-domain, allowing the use of a decimating filter to remove some and reduce the interface rate between the ADC and the FPGA.

    The integrated 14-bit DACs can each sample up to 6.4 GSPS which offers flexible bandwidth and RF frequency planning options. The DACs have a mixing micro-architecture and use DUC to place the carrier information in Nyquist zones 1, 2 and 3 – up to the end of C-band.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fujitsu’s 5G base station consumes only 10 watts of power

    Base stations of small 5G cells must reach 10 gigabit data rates, which in practice means high transmit power and high power consumption. Fujitsu Laboratorios has developed a technology that uses a small 5G base station to consume the same power as an ordinary wifi router.

    The Fujitsu solution precisely monitors the phase of the antenna elements of the 5G base station operating on the millimeters. The developed phase converter reduces the power required for transmission and minimizes the transmitter’s energy loss.

    The result is up to 128 antenna element 5G base stations that consume only about 10 watts. This makes it possible to implement a very dense 5G network at train stations and other public spaces, for example.

    Fujitsu’s circuit is only 0.65 x 1.33 millimeters in size. Its power consumption is about 50 percent lower than any of the similarly developed solutions.


  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The first 5G phones in early 2019

    Qualcomm, Sandiegol, has for the first time transferred the correct data to the Snapdragon X50 modem circuit, developed for 5G terminals. Over gigabit speed was reached in the coming, probably in the first 5G range, or 28 gigahertz.

    The 5G demo was performed at Qualcomm’s San Diego Research Laboratory. There were several hundreds of megahertz carriers in operation that allowed total over gigabit data rates. The link was built on the Keysight Technologies UXM 5G platform.

    Qualcomm was the first modem circuit supplier last year to launch a series of silicon slots for future 5G NR networks.


  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qualcomm Tests First 5G Silicon Specimen

    Qualcomm announced its first 5G cellular modem almost four years before a final standard was scheduled to be published. It could still have to edit the chip to suit the standard, which is targeting everything from cars to smartphones to sensors.

    But on Tuesday, the company teased test results of the silicon specimen, which it wants inside smartphones within the next two years. The modem shuttled 1.2 gigabits per second in tests at Qualcomm’s labs in San Diego, California. The final product will provide five gigabits per second, making it around 20 times faster than the latest 4G silicon.

    The X50 modem conveyed data using the 28 gigahertz band, which in the future could handle spillover from lower bands traditionally used in cellular networks. But wireless firms are still probing for ways to compensate for millimeter wave’s energy loss over long distances and tendency to bounce off walls, which could hurt Qualcomm’s modem in the real world.

    In a separate announcement, Qualcomm also previewed a reference manual so that companies can integrate the X50 modem into smartphones and other gadgets.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile Edge Computing on 5G Networks: Don’t Forget About Security and Testing

    5G is here. New cellular networks are being planned and rolled out around the world, exciting consumers and enterprises alike with the promise of huge jumps in performance. However, speed isn’t the only benefit of 5G. The new network protocol is also giving rise to Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)—the ability to push applications and content to the edge of the cellular network. This architecture change will reduce latency and power consumption and, perhaps most importantly, enhance security.

    Low Latency Apps Driving 5G and MEC

    Advances in autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) are driving the need for MEC applications. These applications require extremely low latency, and it makes sense to move both functionality and content to the edge of cellular networks. It’s much easier to embed virtualized compute and storage elements closer to the cell tower with 5G networks because of the speed improvements.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Telecommunication business is in quite a change when investments in the 5G network are just coming. Nokia, however, believes in the broader part of the Alcatel-Lucent deal, the expanded product range also helps to sell 5G networks.

    ” 5G is much more than just radio network technology. 5G technology requires cloud-based backbones, IP routing, a variety of migration solutions, fixed wireless broadband connections, and software-controlled web applications, ” Suri said .


  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cisco on Mobile Backhaul over DOCSIS at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2017

    John Chapman, Cisco Fellow and Chief Technology Officer of Cable Access, provides details of a demonstration conducted with CableLabs on the support of small cell mobile backhaul over DOCSIS HFC. Chapman makes the case for DOCSIS-enable hybrid fiber/coax networks as an efficient approach to upcoming 5G small cell connectivity requirements. He also discusses the resulting network densification as well as strategies to support future backhaul requirements.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OPEX/CAPEX Pressure Drives e2e Automation of RF Measurements

    Wireless network testing can take advantage of automation to deliver an end-to-end (e2e) solution that improves quality and lowers costs.

    From the beginning stages of LTE network deployment to the impending roll-out of 5G, we’ve observed a rather significant evolution in wireless network testing. Such testing has transformed from being data-collection and post-processing centric to being an automated solution that performs end-to-end (e2e) processes. In other words, data collection, remote management, and post processing are all contained in a single process flow (Fig. 1). An increase in urgency, complexity, capital expenditure (CAPEX)/operating expenditure (OPEX), and competition are a few of the drivers behind this evolution.

    For example, distributed-antenna-system (DAS) installations and deployments typically require special permissions and limited time to access venues, making it critical to ensure that the turnaround time for system verification is quick and without glitches. On the macro-cell segment with pre-post launch optimization and site verifications, an engineer was traditionally required to monitor the drive test gear with another “coordinator,” controlling when and what types of test measurements needed to be made.

    Overall, significant human intervention is needed that is not only primarily OPEX-heavy, but also introduces the possibility of user errors along the way. This could easily become a big problem when project deliveries are extremely time-critical, which is normally the case.

    To successfully utilize an automated RF measurement solution, four basic issues must be resolved to result in quality of end-user experience (QoE) and offer possibilities for direct OPEX savings:

    Real-time analytics

    Automation: Remove and restrict human intervention in all possible areas of the process
    Integrity: Identify potential failures as and when they happen
    Real-time analytics: Access network measurement data, make changes, and validate results in real-time
    Integration: Consolidated view of processed information from multiple sources

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Algorithms to Antennas: A Blog for 5G, Radar, and EW RF Engineers

    This new series will investigate the challenges associated with building today’s wireless systems and offer resources to aid development.

    Today’s RF systems rarely are designed to perform a single function. For example, new aerospace and defense systems have merged into integrated radar, EW, and communications systems. In 5G systems, the related challenges include characterizing the channel, connecting with multiple users, and maintaining channel capacity. Today’s systems also have to operate at higher frequencies with much wider bandwidths in more crowded RF spectrums.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Invisible Connections will Unveil our 5G Future


    Those working on RF (radio frequency) connectors face a multifaceted set of design hurdles, as geometry, size, and transmission constraints must be met while matching the impedance of the connector to the rest of the transmission line. “The component manufacturers have been very quick in offering products for 5G applications,” says Rosas. “But providing components that are highly optimized is where the opportunities lie.”

    As the frequency increases, maintaining the impedance becomes more complex, as small quirks arising from the geometry or selected materials can be magnified.

    Multiphysics simulation has enabled Eric and his team to swiftly meet the design challenges that accompany each new customer.

    Signal microwave’s customers often require specific geometric parameters for one part of the connector as well as a predetermined impedance, which then informs the rest of the design.

    Simulation allows Gebhard to investigate the measured voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR), reflection and insertion loss, or power loss due to mismatches or unexpected discontinuity, which must be minimized.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G Bytes: Small Cells Explained
    Small cells will help companies build denser 5G networks that can reuse bandwidth more efficiently

    Today’s mobile users want faster data speeds and more reliable service. The next generation of wireless networks—5G—promises to deliver that, and much more. Right now, though, 5G is still in the planning stages, and companies and industry groups are working together to figure out exactly what it will be. But they all agree on one thing: As the number of mobile users and their demand for data rises, 5G will have to handle far more traffic at much higher speeds than do the base stations that make up today’s cellular networks.

    To achieve this, wireless engineers are designing a suite of brand-new technologies. Together, these technologies will deliver data with less than a millisecond of delay (compared to about 70 ms on today’s 4G networks), and raise peak download speeds to 20 gigabits per second (compared with 1 Gb/s on 4G).

    At the moment, it’s not yet clear which technologies will do the most for 5G in the long run, but a few early favorites have emerged. The front-runners include millimeter waves, small cells, massive MIMO, full duplex, and beamforming.

    Small Cells

    Small cells are portable miniature base stations that require minimal power to operate and can be placed every 250 meters or so throughout cities. To prevent signals from being dropped, carriers could blanket a city with thousands of these stations. Together, they would form a dense network that acts like a relay team, handing off signals like a baton and routing data to users at any location.

    While traditional cell networks have also come to rely on an increasing number of base stations, achieving 5G performance will require an even greater infrastructure. Luckily, antennas on small cells can be much smaller than traditional antennas if they are transmitting tiny millimeter waves. This size difference makes it even easier to stick cells unobtrusively on light poles and atop buildings.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G networks can already be simulated in MATLAB

    3GPP is about to complete its first 5G configuration in March 2018. However, device manufacturers may already start developing 5G features and links with the 5G library released by MathWorks.

    With the 5G library, developers can explore and test 5G technologies even before the standard is completed. The library includes MATLAB implementations of 5G algorithms and a 38.01 channel model, allowing developers to explore 5G network waveforms and encoding methods and to develop receiver algorithms.

    The 5G Library is a free, downloadable add-on to MathWorks LTE System Toolbox Tools.


  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Where 5G development begins: National Instruments 5G lab–National-Instruments-5G-lab?utm_content=bufferd6c5c&utm_medium=social&

    The 5G charter includes three specific use cases: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), and Ultra Reliable Machine Type Communication (uRMTC).
    I was so fortunate to be able to visit National Instruments (NI) 5G lab in Austin, TX. Sarah Yost, Product Marketing Manager for Wireless Communications at NI, was my guide.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Simulate OTA channels for 5G mmWave signals

    The development of 5G has spawned a great deal of test issues. Channel sounding tests are ongoing, particularly at the proposed millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies of 28 GHz and 39 GHz in the U.S., plus similar frequencies around the world. Furthermore, integration of multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antennas into devices has made over-the-air (OTA) testing a necessity. In addition to 5G, automotive radar systems can operate at similar frequencies.

    The Model 2040+ Multi-Radio Channel Replicator from Eastern OptX creates propagation paths and emulates channel losses, interference, propagation delay, multipath distortion, and fading effects through its internal fiber optics. Operating for 20 GHz to 40 GHz, the 2040+ simulates signal conditions up to one mile, which is the ranges that signals at these frequencies can operate. For lower frequencies, Eastern OptX has other models.

    Price: $150,000.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Top Products of 2017

    Covering everything from 5G communications to military applications, the industry delivered a number of impressive products in 2017.

    In 2017, many companies in the RF/microwave industry introduced new products that propelled them to greater heights. To meet the needs of today’s commercial, military, and industrial markets, companies are setting the bar higher in terms of product performance. Here, Microwaves & RF presents our picks for the top products of2017.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wi-Fi versus 5G? Nope, it’s both–Nope–it-s-both

    Will 5G replace Wi-Fi? Once you get access to wireless connectivity that is faster, more robust, and has greater capacity than Wi-Fi, why would you need that and Wi-Fi? Why wouldn’t 5G replace Wi-Fi? Because it’s theoretically possible, people have been asking this question over and over for at least a couple of years.

    We asked the folks at Wi-Fi specialist Quantenna about 5G replacing Wi-Fi, and at first they didn’t even understand the question. After discussing it a bit, the reason for the misunderstanding became clear: it makes no sense. If it were to happen, wireless carriers will have to want to make it happen, and they have no reason whatsoever to want it to happen. They apparently aren’t even considering the possibility, hence the initial confusion.

    The question is really about residential service. Yes, there are public hotspots and, yes, enterprises rely on Wi-Fi too. But the residential market is where Wi-Fi is most widely used for distributing broadband bandwidth among a growing number of devices.

    And in the home, “operators are doubling down on Wi-Fi,” said James Chen, Quantenna’s senior director of product marketing. “It’s the logical thing to do.” He reeled off a list of reasons why.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia has a strong position in 5G patents

    Who determines how much the equipment manufacturer will have to pay for using the 5G technology in its future products? The price depends on what is known as the technology. essence patents holders and portfolio owners’ licensing policy.

    In GSM and 3G network technology, over 23,500 patents have been defined as essential patents. No wonder that getting access to all technologies is a difficult process already in the legal sense.

    The 3g4g blog has presented who are in control of the essential essentials of 5G technology in three key areas.

    The 5G signal modulation patents are the most with Qualcomm, a total of 121. In this comparison, Nokia’s portfolio is with the seventh-best brand 73 patent. Interdigital has 45 patents, but Ericsson does not have the essence patents defining waveforms.

    The third category deals with core network technology. These essentials are Nokia 39, Qualcomm has 36 patents, while Headwater Partners – sometimes called patent patrols – are the backbone patents 34 and Intel 29. Cisco has 32 patents in this area.


    5G Patents Progress

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A 5G World Requires Suitable MIMO Testing
    This technical brief explains 5G MIMO networks as well as potential test solutions that can be utilized.

    Next-generation 5G networks are expected to represent a revolutionary change in wireless communications. Furthermore, multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) technology is primed to play an important role in these networks. Test systems must therefore account for this key technology. In the new technical brief, “Insights on Evolving 5G MIMO Networks and Test Methods,” Vaunix Technology describes various MIMO implementations before discussing possible test solutions for these systems.

    Tech Brief Describes Factors of Testing and Development of Your MIMO Systems

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New System Design Tools a Must for 5G RF Front-Ends
    5G networks will pose challenges to RF front-end (RFFE) design in mobile devices.

    While 5G wireless standards are still under development, it’s not too early to predict that 5G device designs will be more complex, have more components (particularly filters), and be expected to deliver higher networking and processing performance. At the same time, they will be smaller and less expensive. The 5G networking standards now under development intend to accommodate a wide variety of use cases that are now served with disparate technologies. These range from low-bandwidth Internet of Things (IoT) to high-bandwidth video.

    The challenges that come with accommodating these use cases will impact every part of 5G deployments, but perhaps will add the most complexity and challenge to the RF front-end (RFFE) in mobile devices—if for no other reason than there is very little space to accommodate this complexity. A full understanding of the impact of 5G networks on RFFE starts with the network environment in which the devices will work.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What You Need to Become a Multi-Functional Engineer

    A software platform with multi-domain capabilities can be highly beneficial for next-generation wireless system development that incorporates various technologies.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Xilinx fires a 5G solution shot across the bow of RF and data converter companies

    I remember when specialty companies like Graychip made their mark in the ’90s with digital down conversion (DDC) and digital up conversion (DUC) ICs along with traditional semiconductor companies that had the high speed op amps and data converters to complete the signal chain in a base station. Digital pre-distortion (DPD) ICs were also used at that time along with the special sauce of an algorithm that improved the distortion of the transmit signal chain. Then, along came the FPGA solutions that upended the traditional market for the DPD and the DUC and DDC solutions. Xilinx had one of those disruptive solutions.

    Well, now we are on the road to 5G and fast approaching the need for better signal chain solutions and Xilinx has rocked the industry again. They have embedded RF-class analog technology into their 16nm, all programmable MPSoC architecture. This new RFSoC design does not need discrete external data converters because they have integrated high speed/high performance ADCs and DACs into their SoC solution with a direct RF sampling architecture, bringing the industry closer to the goal of the software defined radio. This added flexibility in the digital domain is great news for 5G with massive MIMO, as well as for millimeter wave wireless backhaul needs. Xilinx claims an amazing board footprint and power savings reduction of 50 to 75%.

    For many years, designers have been on the ever-elusive quest of moving the digital and analog radios closer and closer to the antenna. The first step toward this goal was using active antenna

    The active antenna array worked for 4G systems, but with the advent of the huge number of connected devices for a viable 5G system, designers needed something new. Along came massive MIMO and beam-forming. These were a good start toward making 5G a reality. The problem that designers needed to solve were the 32, 256 up to 1024 individual antennas needed in a 2D array. This phased-array architecture enables high-resolution beam steering along with lower power consumption. Now high density installations will create much higher density per individual cell

    Taking this design to the next level, layouts like mounting “tiles” along the exterior of a building, or billboards/signs, etc. are possible

    Now here is where the Xilinx all-programmable RFSoC will enable an architecture to leap-frog to the next major step toward realizing 5G—a system design that is scalable for a flexible design with sub-arrays

    Eliminating the data converter interface and SERDES need

    When JESD204B came along to eliminate the messy routing of high speed data converter interfaces, a designer’s task in routing sensitive high speed lines on the PC board was made an order of magnitude simpler. Now taking that effort to the next level, Xilinx has managed to cleverly take routing a step further in simplicity by eliminating existing high-speed data converter interface lines presently running around 12.5Gb/s with the JESD204B protocol and eliminate those PB board lines altogether

    How much board space will be saved in multiple sub-array systems of 128×128 transmit/receive design, which 5G systems will need? We are edging closer to miniaturizing 5G systems to a point of realizing true early deployment of a preliminary system at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and ultimately nearing full deployment reality for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

    By using the TSMC 16nm FinFET advanced CMOS process, Xilinx has created its all programmable RFSoc with integrated digital front-end (DFE), multi-channel scalability needed for 5G, and elimination of the JESD204B bus. This complete RF data converter subsystem on an integrated platform, which I never thought would happen this soon, achieves an amazingly simpler and highly integrated solution

    As a former RF analog circuit designer who has been with two of the major high speed data converter suppliers, my big question was how did Xilinx get such good performance high speed data converter technology with a 12 bit, 4 Gsps ADC and a 14 bit, 6.4 Gsps DAC?

    The answer I discovered was that in 2012 Xilinx designed and validated a 28nm test IC with their Virtex-7 FPGA that had an integrated ADC and DAC.

    My concern here was crosstalk between the multiple DACs and ADCs. In the 2015 paper, it was reported as follows:

    FPGA-to-analog crosstalk was measured by mapping 100 k D-FFs to the FPGA. The D-FFs were simultaneously toggling at the FPGA clock rate while driving 2048 SLLs connected to the 16 DACs. The measurement was done while the DAC synthesized a 70 MHz full scale output tone at 800 MS/s using on-die memory. Measured crosstalk was better than 92 dBc for up to 12 W of switching power.
    The same measurement was performed on the ADC while sampling a 70 MHz input tone at 250 MS/s. The crosstalk was not observable as it was lower than the ADC noise floor.

    Pretty darn good. And for performance: Receive SNDR 61.6 dBFS to Nyquist at 500 MS/s and transmit SFDR 63.8 dBc to 400 MHz at 1.6 GS/s was measured. I never thought I would see that in an IC with an FPGA.

    So TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process and Xilinx clever designers have combined to show exceptional high speed analog results, especially in the performance/watt of the converter subsystems in the RFSoC. The IC is using a ZYNC Ultrascale+ MPSoC 64 bit processor scalability. Xilinx claims that this IC will apply Moore’s Law to analog. I agree. Let’s see how the 2018 and 2020 Olympics deploy some of this technology to realize 5G promises.

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Beamforming to expand 4G and 5G network capacities

    Most wireless subscribers believe all is well with their network coverage. The wireless industry knows the future tells a different story. 4G LTE has reached the theoretical limits of time and frequency resource utilization, while 5G will need new technology to meet its full potential.

    The wireless industry is working feverishly to open a new degree of freedom and space for enhancing network capacity and performance to address growing connectivity demands. Engineers are looking at spatial dimension innovations, falling under the category of space division multiple access (SDMA), that will help deliver significant network capacity and performance.

    With SDMA, the idea is to use software-driven, beamforming antennas to enable multiple concurrent transmissions using the same frequency without interference, thus allowing for abundant spectrum reuse with higher intensity signals delivered to both stationary and mobile users. This way, mobile operators can continuously reuse the same band of spectrum, at the same time, within a given spatial region, and direct coverage to where it’s needed, when it’s needed.

    Wireless carriers and OEMs are considering two technologies that enable electronic beamforming to 4G and 5G networks to meet the boundless growth in wireless data consumption: multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) and beamforming.

    Early MIMO deployments in 4G systems have been both exciting and disappointing. Exciting because real network capacity gains have been shown. Disappointing because hardware costs have outpaced performance gains.

    Enter MU-MIMO
    That leaves multi-user MIMO, where independent data beams are transmitted along diverse vectors. MU-MIMO is not without challenges, however. Practical MU-MIMO demos have shown that it is difficult to achieve linear capacity gain with the number of antenna/radio pairs used. In practice, the observed capacity gains have been more like one-tenth the number of radio/antenna combinations.

    More recently, attention has been drawn to MU-MIMO power consumption in cellular bands. Several researchers have pointed out that multi-GHz clockrate 8-bit ADCs (analog-to-digital converters) require significant power. For a 128-element MU-MIMO array this implies at least half a kilowatt of power needed just for the ADC components.

    Holographic beamforming
    Holographic beamforming (HBF) is a new technique that is substantially different from conventional phased arrays or MIMO systems in that it uses software defined antennas (SDAs). It is the lowest C-SWaP (cost, size, weight, and power) dynamic beamforming architecture available.

    HBFs are passive electronically steered antennas (PESAs) that use no active amplification internally. This leads to symmetric transmit and receive characteristics for HBF antennas.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Algorithms to Antenna: Beamforming to Improve Signal-to-Noise Levels and Achieve Higher Channel Capacity with MIMO Systems

    This post, part 2 of a series, covers techniques that can improve wireless system performance.


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