Innovator Profile: Sivers IMA

New generation of 5G mmWave RFIC addresses untapped business potential

Radio frequencies are a scarce resource that requires special consideration. Today operators and service providers face difficulties with congestion and the limited availability of RF bandwidth. The key driver behind this is the increase in data communication, which is pushing the limits of technology. With consumers’ appetite for more and more data, it is inevitable that there is a requirement for more network capacity. Unless we install a fibre cable connection to each of our devices, higher frequencies must be utilized in wireless networks to meet the needs of users.

The semiconductor industry has spent many years developing mmWave technology to facilitate beamforming and MIMO to utilize the benefits of mmWave and today we see systems being deployed. These first-generation mmWave implementations are often complex and more costly, which is hampering commercial success. Sivers IMA is now providing highly integrated components and modules that make it possible for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers to deliver on their business cases. By integrating all relevant functional blocks into one single IC it is now possible to reduce the bill of material (BoM) considerably.

Figure 1. mmWave Antenna and RFIC from Sivers IMA

Key Features

  • 3GPP NR 5G compliant
  • Supported frequencies:  24-29.5GHz
  • EVM performance up to 256QAM OFDM
  • Integrated PAs combined power of +24dBm (Pout1dB)
  • 6dB noise figure
  • Integrated Low Noise Amplifiers and analogue Receive channel filter
  • DC connected IQ interface to the baseband Modem

This high level of integration together with competitive performance opens up a number of use cases and applications to lower the cost in various scenarios. The most interesting ones, looking from a mmWave perspective, are:

  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)
  • Repeater Solutions
  • Indoor Hot Spot solutions for broadband data access

FWA. In these network configurations, it is critical that the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) is both high performing as well as low cost to the end user. Given the nature of the mmWave propagation, the CPE is typically placed outdoors, which adds on requirements on robustness and operation over a wider temperature range. It requires highly integrated infrastructure grade solutions with the right quality and robustness at an attractive price offered by Sivers IMA.

Repeater Solutions. Since millimetre wave propagation makes it difficult to transmit through walls, windows or around corners, we are now starting to see solutions where the signals can be amplified and re-transmitted to get better coverage. Today’s solutions for this are promising and an attractive way to make use of the allocated millimetre wave spectrum for 5G services. The next step is to make it small, neat and easy to install and at a cost that makes it attractive to service providers.

Indoor Hot Spot solutions for broadband data access. Low-cost millimetre wave RF technology with a high level of integration opens up for new, innovative indoor access solutions. One interesting use case is to use 5G spectrum for distributed indoor data access hot spots to give the end user a “gigabit” throughput experience and off-load the sub 6 GHz resources.

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