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Design and Physical Realization of Phased Array Antennas for MIMO/Beam Steering Applications

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Design and Physical Realization of Phased Array Antennas for MIMO/Beam Steering Applications 2 www.cadence.com/go/awr Design Overview Altogether, the advantages inherent in phased array systems will enable major commercial applications, including 5G commu- nications and automotive radar, to exploit the millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum (Figure 1). Like their aerospace and defense-related counterparts, these phased array systems will need to deliver high performance and reliability while operating in hostile outdoor environments. Unlike the arrays developed for aerospace and defense applications, they will need to be designed for cost-effective, high-volume deployment. Figure 1: The mmWave spectrum for commercial communication and radar applications ushers in widespread use of phased array/MIMO antenna technology This white paper explores basic phased array theory and the design considerations behind next-generation antenna systems. It also examines the capabilities added to electronic design automation (EDA) software such as the Cadence ® AWR Design Environment ® platform. AWR ® software provides a design flow for developing the RF front-end hardware supporting these antenna systems, which must be optimized for performance, reliability, compactness, and cost. To design such a system and the underlying components, engineers need a comprehensive design flow that manages the data pertaining to the behavior of the various blocks that make up the array and its feed structure. They must also be able to accurately predict how these blocks work together as a whole to produce the desired performance across scan region, frequency range, and other operational requirements. This flow should also provide a pathway to physical realization of the individual components, including the antenna array itself. To support these needs, an enhanced phased array generator wizard in AWR software enables users to interactively develop phased array antenna systems and generate array and feed network schematics or system diagrams suitable for further circuit/system/electromagnetic (EM) analysis. Users can easily define the array geometry (configuration), feed structures, gain tapers, and characteristics of individual elements and their respective RF links. This tool works interactively with Cadence's AWR Microwave Office ® /AWR Analog Office ® circuit design software, AWR Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software, and AWR AXIEM ® and Analyst™ EM simulators, as well as the Cadence AWR AntSyn™ antenna design, synthesis, and optimization tool, to guide phased array/feed network component/system devel- opment from concept to product.

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