Sivers IMA has signed a joint development agreement with Ampleon to develop a single chip millimeter wave IC for 5G base stations.
According to a Sivers IMA press release, the companies will jointly develop the RFIC, with Ampleon funding approximately 3.5 million Swedish krona ($389,000) to support development. Ampleon will be the main sales channel to the “tier 1” network equipment manufacturers for the IC developed under the agreement.
Anders Storm, Sivers IMA CEO, told Microwave Journal many of the ICs could be used in “one unit,” i.e., base station, implying the RFIC will support a phased array architecture.
“Over the last year we have been working with Ampleon on our 5G consortium, which has resulted in a 28 GHz 5G transceiver chip that is now ready for customer testing. The current chip will be able to address the small cell and customer premises equipment market for fixed wireless accesses and some other use cases. Now, we have also agreed with Ampleon to address the specific demand from the top tier OEMs to also offer a solution for 5G base stations.” — Anders Storm, CEO of Sivers IMA
The two companies plan to complete development and release the RFIC to market by the end of 2019.
According to Ericsson, major 5G network deployment will begin in 2020, with 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband services projected by the end of 2024.
Sivers IMA has a history developing RFICs at 60 GHz and, more recently, targeting the millimeter wave bands designated for 5G.
Ampleon, formerly NXP’s RF power transistor business, is either the #1 or #2 supplier of LDMOS and GaN power transistors for sub-6 GHz cellular base stations, maintaining direct relationships with the network equipment manufacturers (e.g., Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia).