IBM, Ericsson make phased-array breakthrough

telecomasia.net

IBM and Ericsson have announced a joint R&D breakthrough that the vendors say could accelerate the launch of 5G networks.

The companies have created a contact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz within a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations.

The development is a result of a more than two-year collaboration to research phased-array antenna technologies. This partnership was first announced in November 2014.

According to the companies, the prototype module has the potential to meet the size, weight, cost and performance standards that would be required for future 5G phased array deployments to be commercially viable.

The module measures around 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches, and consists of four monolithic integrated circuits and 64 dual-polarized antennas. It supports a beam-steering resolution of less than 1.4 degrees for high precision pointing towards users.

“There has been a lot of encouraging progress in 5G standardization last year including the beginning of live field trials,” Ericsson senior advisor for network products Thomas Noren said.

“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.” 

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