For 5G applications, Sivers IMA and Uppsala University will develop a 24 to 29.5 GHz IC with an antenna integrated in the package. Vinnova, Sweden's government agency for innovation, is funding the project with SEK4 million (approximately $450,000) under the "Smartare Elektroniksystem Forsknings – och innovationsprojekt 2018" program.
The motivation for the integrated RFIC and antenna is the need for a cost-effective front-end for customer premises equipment (CPE) in millimeter wave, Gbps broadband systems. According to Sivers IMA, such a product is not commercially available. The application and opportunity to commercialize the product was assessed by a jury of 14 independent national experts in an evaluation by Smartare Elektroniksystem.
Of the SEK4 million, Sivers IMA will receive SEK3 million for the RFIC and SEK1 million will go to the Institution for Technical Science at Ångströmslaboratoriet at Uppsala University for the antenna.
Vinnova previously funded Sivers IMA and Uppsala University to develop a WiGig (60 GHz) RFIC with antenna, which was presented at the European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP). A second paper will be presented at the IEEE RFIC Symposium in June (2018).
Anders Storm, CEO of Sivers IMA, said, “5G will be a key component in all future telecommunication networks, which was confirmed by the prime ministers of the Nordic countries last week, where they agreed to a new, deeper cooperation around 5G development, with the ambition that the Nordic region should be at the forefront. With this contribution from Vinnova, together with our own investment within 5G, we can now contribute to this vision."
Dragos Dancila, an associate professor of microwave technology at Uppsala University and the project leader for the antenna development, said, “We are grateful that Vinnova supports the long-term collaboration between industry and university, having already resulted in an excellent experience of delivering a successful technology at 60 GHz. We have again the opportunity to embark on the development of a new communication system supporting the 5G bands at 24 to 28 GHz and to ensure that it is competitive and world class.”
The Angstrom laboratory at Uppsala has an advanced antenna chamber for acoustic and RF measurements, which will be used to support the project.
Vinnova's mission is to contribute to sustainable economic growth in Sweden by "improving the conditions for innovation." According to the Vinnova website, "We do this mainly by funding innovation projects and the research needed to develop new solutions. We also invest long term in strong research and innovation environments."