MilliLabs has launched a wireless emulator designed for 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) and connected vehicular systems. The patent-pending solution is based on a new emulation paradigm that integrates wireless channel emulation with the multi-antenna RF front-ends — phased-array antennas.

MilliLabs' emulator was developed for customer premises equipment, small cell and base station testing. The technology is configurable to support different baseband and modem solutions and, according to the company, is ideal for 5G and other high frequency, low latency, wide bandwidth and ultra-dense network applications.

Engineers need to understand how mmWave systems behave in a wide range of real-world propagation scenarios, which is typically accomplished through emulation. However, testing and verifying mmWave designs is a challenge as the industry moves to 5G, since the increased computational complexity and hardware cost are show-stoppers when the traditional emulation paradigm is applied to mmWave systems. The primary reason existing emulation approaches are infeasible is the bandwidth and number of antennas are both increased by one to two orders of magnitude compared to 4G systems.

Aditya Dhananjay, the founder and president of MilliLabs, said, “It is striking to note that no commercial mmWave channel emulators exist in the market today. The bottom line is, you can't take the approach for 3G and 4G and simply scale it up for the SG use cases, because of the increasingly high cost”

Based in New York, MilliLabs is a spin-off from NYU focused on mmWave technology and next-generation cellular network emulation. The company was founded by Aditya Dhananjay, Sundeep Rangan and Dennis Shasha, who bring extensive expertise in wireless communications, digital signal processing, FPGA programming and prototyping mmWave systems.