Thursday, February 9, 2017

IBM and Ericsson Develop Silicon-based millimeterWave Phased Array

IBM and Ericsson have developed a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz that has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations.

The breakthrough is a result of a two-year collaboration that set out to develop phased array antenna designs for 5G. The partnership brought together IBM's expertise in highly integrated phased array mmWave IC and antenna-in-package solutions with Ericsson's expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications.

The unit is the world's first reported silicon-based mmWave phased array antenna module operating at 28GHz. The module, which consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarized antennas, measures approximately 2.8" by 2.8", or about half the size of a typical smartphone. Achieving this compact form factor is necessary to support the vision of this technology's widespread deployment, especially in indoor spaces and dense downtown areas.

Thomas Noren, Senior Advisor, Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, says: "There has been a lot of encouraging progress in 5G standardization last year including the beginning of live field trials. Big efforts in research and development are key to this and our collaboration with IBM Research on phased array antennas can help operators to effectively deploy radio access infrastructure necessary to support a 5G future. New use cases and applications that span human machine interaction, Virtual Reality, smart home devices and connected cars will depend on innovative technologies that can bring the promises of faster data rates, broader bandwidth and longer battery life to reality."

"The development of this 5G millimeterWave phased array is an important breakthrough, not just because of its compact size and low cost, which make it a very commercially attractive solution for network equipment companies and operators, but its potential to unleash and inspire brand new ideas and innovations we haven't yet imagined, thanks to a fully networked society," said Dr. Dario Gil, Vice President of Science & Solutions, IBM Research.

http://www.ibm.com/research
http://www.ericsson.com

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