Tamagawa Electronics has developed a multi-channel mmWave up- and down-converter module for prototyping and testing 5G beamforming. The MMCX module covers 27.5 to 28.5 GHz with 1 GHz instantaneous bandwidth and an IF frequency of 3 GHz. It interfaces with up to 32 antennas. Both analog and digital beamforming are used to create the beams, and both can be used simultaneously. The analog beamforming module controls from four to 32 systems, and the digital beamforming module supports up to eight. The module requires an external 10 MHz sync signal and supports GPS synchronization.

With a nominal IF input to the MMCX of −20 dBm, the RF output power at the antenna port is +5 dBm with approximately −33 dB adjacent channel power ratio, which will support 256-QAM modulation. A multi-antenna array will generate approximately 2 W EIRP. Tamagawa minimized the heat dissipation of the module by integrating the circuitry to reduce the number of components, which also improves performance and reliability.

The antenna connectors are located on the front of the housing, and the outputs are co-located with the antenna connectors and selected via relay. The right side of the unit contains the connectors for controlling the transmit and receive signals and beamformer settings. Eight ports for the up- and down-converter IF signals are located on the back of the module.

Tamagawa Electronics plans to extend the digital beamforming capability to add a software-defined radio (SDR) for beamforming. The SDR will be programmed with pre-defined antenna patterns as well as supporting custom beams. The MMCX was designed to be customizable, so unique customer requirements can be accommodated.

Tamagawa Electronics’ multi-channel mmWave up- and down-converter module provides a flexible and convenient system for prototyping and testing 28 GHz phased array antenna systems.

Tamagawa Electronics
Ayase, Japan