Bits to Beams – RF Technology Evolution for 5G mmwave Radios

Presented at EDI CON USA 2018

This article is organized into 3 major topics. In the first section, we will discuss some of the leading use cases for mmwave communications and set the stage for the analysis that follows. In the second and third sections we will delve into the architectures and technology for the mmwave basestation systems. In section 2 we will discuss technology for the beamformers and how the required transmit power influences the choice of technology for the system front-end. While the beamformer gets much of the spotlight in the press, there is equally important section of the radio that performs the conversion from bits to mmwave frequency. We will present an example signal chain for this section of the system and suggest some leading-edge components from Analog Devices for radio designer’s consideration.

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