16 Channel Beamforming Transceiver RFIC Covers the Full 57 to 71 GHz Unlicensed Band
Sivers Semiconductor’s TRX BF/01 transceiver RFIC targets applications using the unlicensed 60 GHz band, primarily fixed wireless access (FWA) systems using the 802.11ad and 5G NR-U, TDD standards (see Figure 1). The transceiver was developed based on robust requirements for the product to be used outdoors, the typical FWA deployment, with consistent performance across the full temperature range, -40°C to +85°C.
The TRX BF/01 uniquely supports the full 60 GHz unlicensed band, from 57 to 71 GHz. Combining flat performance across this 14 GHz bandwidth, including high output power and excellent linearity, the TRX BF/01 is well-suited for current broadband applications and future unlicensed 5G NR use cases (see Table 1). The EVM and integrated synthesizer’s phase noise are good examples of the excellent performance: with > 10 dB better phase noise than any comparable RFIC currently on the market, the TRX BF/01 supports 256 QAM, which enables 10 Gbps over-the-air links using a single channel.
802.11ad compliant, the TRX BF/01 RFIC is highly integrated, including all necessary building blocks from the baseband interface to the 16 RF transmit and receive channels, including control signaling and beam handling capabilities. Comparing the TRX BF/01 with other RFICs, the TRX BF/01 was designed to operate with any available baseband solution having a zero IF or low IF interface. Because of this approach, most calibration routines are executed without needing baseband resources. It also shows Sivers’ experience and capability to integrate the RFIC with baseband alternatives.
In a FWA system with a point-to-multipoint (PmP) configuration, the cost and resources of the central node or access point (AP) should be shared among as many users or customers as possible. The number of connected customer units (CPEs) in a PmP system is often limited by the size of the “beam book” and the capabilities of the baseband modem. To reduce system cost, Sivers designed the beam book of the TRX BF/01 to support up to 30 CPEs connected to the same AP.
Today, the most mature and advanced commercial baseband is the Renesas RWM6050/6051 modem IC. It has unique features such as interference mitigation and support for ½ and ¼ channels for enhanced deployment flexibility. A system combining the Renesas or comparable modem with Sivers high performance transceiver RFIC will be differentiated by its performance, flexibility and robustness.
Sivers provides system developers with two options for using the TRX BF/01, either as a standalone packaged IC or integrated with antennas in a board-level module optimized for large FWA deployments, like the BFM06009 (see Figure 2). Sivers will design custom antenna modules for specific applications, so system designers can use the capabilities of the TRX BF/01 and tailor the antenna performance to their own requirements. This flexibility combined with the consistent performance of the TRX BF/01 adds value to system implementations. For example, the integrated synthesizer on the RFIC can be disabled to use an external VCO, which can be used when tiling several RFICs into larger arrays or using the RFIC in a radar application using a frequency sweep waveform.
The TRX BF/01 is in mass production and used in several applications, including FWA, broadband “track-to-train” links, indoor backhaul for Wi-Fi APs and transmission of multi-Gbps uncompressed medical data.