NEC Corporation has selected NXP® Semiconductors to supply RF Airfast multi-chip modules (MCM) for a massive MIMO (mMIMO) 5G antenna radio unit (RU) for Rakuten Mobile, one of Japan’s mobile network operators.

The mMIMO RU will use NXP’s AFSC5G40E38 MCM, a fully integrated Doherty power amplifier using LDMOS power transistors. Developed to meet the frequency and power requirements of Japan’s 5G infrastructure deployment, it delivers 6.3 W average power with 27 dB gain across the 3.7 to 4.0 GHz band. The size of the MCM is 10 mm x 6 mm.

The AFSC5G40E38 is part of an expanding portfolio of NXP RF Airfast MCMs being developed for 5G infrastructure deployments throughout the world. The Airfast MCMs have a common footprint across frequency and power, enabling network equipment manufacturers to spin boards faster.

NEC’s mMIMO 5G antenna RU uses a 5G open virtual radio access network (vRAN) interface, which has been adopted by Rakuten Mobile for its fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network. The RU utilizes digital beam forming for efficient high-capacity transmission; despite the number of elements, it is easy to install because of the miniaturization achieved through circuit integration.

Commenting about NXP’s Airfast product, Kazushi Tsuji, deputy general manager of NEC’s Wireless Access Solutions Division, said, “The technology’s flexibility, integration and performance allow us to quickly and effectively develop radio products for 5G infrastructure. We’re pleased to partner with both Rakuten and NXP to drive the 5G experience for end-users.”

Paul Hart, executive vice president and general manager of NXP’s Radio Power Division, said, “At NXP, we always strive for technological leadership. NXP’s Airfast MCMs offer high levels of integration, ease of use and performance for 5G infrastructure systems. No matter what frequency band or power.”