AWR White Papers

5G Primer for MIMO/Phased-Array Antennas

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Overview The expanding 5G communications umbrella focuses on supporting three main technologies: f Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), which is the natural development of long-term evolution (LTE) f Massive machine-type communications (mMTC), also known as the industrial internet of things (IIoT) f Ultra-reliable, low-latency communications providing mission-critical infrastructure for services such as transportation, public safety, medical, and more. Future communication systems will comprise many diverse systems that will be implemented with a wide array of solutions. Providing increased mobile broadband traffic and higher data rates, as demanded by end-users, will require adding more spectrum with greater efficiency, as well as building out ultra-,dense network configurations. 5G is driving many product requirements today and achieving the aggressive goals of 5G is being addressed in several areas. Spectral usage, which includes variations on orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) based waveforms that were introduced with LTE Release 8 and inter-and intra-band carrier aggregation is important, especially for spectrum below 6GHz, where continuous unused bandwidth is rare. Another goal is enhancing OTA efficiency with the expansion of MIMO and beam- steering antenna technologies. A third goal is moving to higher frequencies, particularly above 6GHz and into the centimeter and mmWave range. As 5G pushes into these higher frequencies, beam-steering antennas will be required to direct radiated energy from the base station antenna array to the end-user while overcoming the higher path losses that occur at these frequencies. Fortunately, the shorter wavelength translates into smaller antennas, which, in turn, drives more integrated circuit (IC) based antenna array solutions. Monolithic microwave IC (MMIC) and RFIC design will play an important role in future beam-steering technologies for 5G systems operating at mmWave frequencies. As wireless communications systems evolve, smaller devices with better perfor- mance will be required that incorporate multi-technology-based module designs with different IC and printed circuit board (PCB) process technologies. This primer examines some of the simulation technologies available that support the design of MIMO and beam-steering phased-array antennas. 5G Primer for MIMO/Phased-Array Antennas 2

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