Smart antenna start-up ALCAN Systems announced its unique liquid crystal-based technology can be integrated into a range of telecom antenna solutions to overcome the stumbling blocks of mmWave deployments.
After 14 years' research from Darmstadt University, ALCAN was established to develop liquid crystal (LC)-based phased array smart antennas. Liquid Crystal—most commonly used in TV and smart phone screens—is being used by ALCAN to design low-profile antennas. This offers electronically reconfigurable beam-steering technology at a lower cost compared typical Si-based options and can be integrated into a range of forms including Customer Premises equipment, repeater and reconfigurable intelligent surface-based antennas, along with land mobile solutions.
This patented technology has previously been used to serve the satellite market, offering a low-cost option for satellite ground terminals. The similarities between satellite and 5G frequencies, combined with the convergence between telecoms and satellite over the past 12 months, make it a natural evolution for ALCAN systems. The versatile nature of LC allows for a naturally low-profile form factor at a relatively low cost. Additionally, the nature of LC also allows for an efficient and streamlined manufacturing process, meaning operators and premises managers can roll out mmWave 5G equipment at the scale needed to meet demand, while seeing a swift return on investment.
Onur Hamza Karabey, CEO at ALCAN Systems commented, “To deliver mmWave 5G at scale still remains a huge challenge, and we cannot realize the benefits of the next generation of mobile connectivity without widespread coverage. At ALCAN we’ve recognized the pain points of mmWave 5G delivery and developed smart antennas to address them. We’re excited to see our unique technology evolve for the telecoms market and look forward to working with new and existing partners to see 5G deliver on its promised vision.”