Sivers IMA plans to begin sampling beamformer ICs (BFIC) for the 24 and 28 GHz 5G bands during the second calendar quarter. Sivers has designed separate BFICs for the 24 and 28 GHz 5G bands: the AFEVM2Q275 covers 24.25 to 27.5 GHz, the AFEVM2Q295 from 26.5 to 29.5 GHz.

Developed in collaboration with Ampleon, the BFICs integrate a pair of four-channel transmit (Tx) and receive (Rx) paths, the pair to support horizontal and vertical polarization.

Each of the eight transceivers includes

  • Input and antenna Tx/Rx switches for time-division duplex operation, with independent operation of the horizontal and vertical beams.
  • Tx chain comprising amplitude and phase control and a power amplifier. The output power at 1 dB compression is greater than 17 dBm.
  • Rx chain comprising a low noise amplifier and amplitude and phase control. The noise figure of the chain is less than 5 dB.
Beamforming IC block diagram.

The amplitude and phase of the Tx and Rx paths are individually controlled via an LVDS interface, with a resolution of 0.5 dB and 5.625°, respectively. The settling time for changing the beam direction is under 10 ns. Factory calibration and embedded temperature compensation of the BFICs minimizes over-the-air (OTA) calibration measurements of the system.

The BFICs are biased with 1.8 V and operate from −40°C to +85°C. They are assembled in a wafer-level chip-scale package with connections optimized for interfacing to a patch antenna array.

Anders Storm, CEO of Sivers IMA, said, ”With the exceptional combination of power efficiency, output power and linearity, this new dual, quad-BFIC is suitable for larger active antenna arrays supporting base station applications, as well as Open RAN solutions.”

The co-development project with Ampleon began at the end of 2018. The BFICs were designed to meet performance targets set with Ampleon and their first-tier customers.