With the introduction of standards, industry and academic partners are gearing up to provide a new generation of wireless systems and network architectures.
As the commercialization of 5G becomes a reality, the transition from 4G to 5G will be more radical and will have huge commercial implications.
Late last year, the 5G consortium approved the first 5G New Radio (NR) specification at the 3GPP Plenary Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, and launched a tender for part of the newly launched spectrum. .
With the growing demand for connectivity, bandwidth, broadband and low latency networks, the race for next-generation 5G services seems to have begun.
The 5G will provide more efficient communication systems, up to 100 times faster than 4G and 10 times faster than broadband connection, while supporting the next technological innovation, from autonomous vehicles to smart factories, smart cities, virtual and augmented reality. and on-board computing.
The first 5G phones to be released in 2019, with Samsung and Apple, should be in front of them – Apple’s engineers should “deal” with Intel, if they are looking for ways to equip a future iPhone with 5G capabilities.
It is unlikely that we will see a pure 5G phone for a while.
While tests are being conducted around the world to test the 5G, an important point is the deployment that will take place on the Spektrum 5G.
While 4G occupies 5 MHz at 20 MHz, in Korea, the United States and Japan, the optimal frequency is assumed to support 5G at 28 GHz; in Europe, it is seen between 24 GHz and 27 GHz.
This means that companies like Samsung and Qualcomm need to integrate the full range of products into their new chipset so that 5G can be used in different countries.
Another problem is the cost of providing the 5G. Because of the higher frequencies required to support 5G, the signals will not be able to go that far, which will require more antennas, which will increase the costs of implementing the network.
Despite the fact that Dino Flore, vice president of technology, spoke at 5G day in San Diego, California, last month, Qualcomm is expecting 5G in the next three years.
According to Flore, “by 2025, according to the GSM Association, there could be up to 1.4 billion links, suggesting that 5G networks will probably cover a third of the world’s population by then”.
Flore said the 5G would be able to deliver reliable speeds and performance of more than 100 Mbps, even in harsh environments or around the cell, adding that 5G would provide lower latency and lower cost per device. bit. significantly lower than current networks. “And it’s these” lower costs per bit “that are crucial for the introduction of 5G to be a commercial success.
Analysts predict that the economic potential of 5G could be huge and that infrastructure spending for 5G could exceed $ 326 billion by 2025.
This investment should focus on: data centers; Computing Edge; Network transformations and network protocols and 5G modems.
Established players such as Intel, Qualcomm, Dell and Ericsson are expected to be key beneficiaries of the move to 5G, with nearly 80% of 5G infrastructure spending on hardware and network transformation projects.
It is expected that data center component providers, companies that are modernizing their networks, and modems and IP providers will benefit significantly from switching to 5G.
Qualcomm, for example, has already begun testing the Snapdragon X24 LTE Modem, the first commercially available 20-class LTE modem capable of downloading up to 2 gigabits per second (Gbps).
“According to the GSM Association, 5G could represent more than 1.4 billion links by 2025, suggesting that 5G networks will probably cover a third of the world’s population by then.”
Dino Flore, Vice President of Technology, Qualcomm
The device includes advanced wireless features and strengthens the LTE base for future 5G NR multimode devices and networks.
“The Snapdragon X24 LTE Modem is designed to provide advanced mobile broadband services and provide tremendous gigabit coverage for 5G networks and commercial mobile devices, expected to hit the market in 2019,” said Serge Willenegger, vice president of President and Business Development General Manager, 4G / 5G and Industrial IOT, Qualcomm Wireless.
“This will help mobile operators fully leverage their spectrum of resources and maximize the capacity of their Gigabit LTE networks, and mobile device manufacturers will provide consumers with a concrete insight into our 5G future.”
With the introduction of 5G, terminals and base stations need to manage Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MIMO) and beam control technologies, which require more channels and increased demand for BAW filters, energy and other devices.
The absorption of 5G high frequency signals requires that the emission beam be electronically “controlled” if the losses are to be reduced and the transmission efficiency of the system is to be optimized.
Energy management will also be crucial and these systems should use more sophisticated envelope tracking technologies. Although not entirely new, these chips are currently used in RF power amplifiers to track the signal and increase power when needed rather than consistently delivering high power.
With the advent of 5G and the expected increased rates of envelope tracking technologies, the use of Laterally Distributed Metal Oxide Semiconductors (LDMOS) and gallium arsenide (GaAs) gallium nitride (GaN) ),
For 5G to be successful, however, it needs to take advantage of new semiconductor technologies to support advanced innovations.
A recently launched European research project called SERENA (“millimeter-wave millimeter-effective systems integration platform for gan on silicon”) recently launched a 36-month research project to develop a platform for forming beams for multi-waves. Antenna arrays enable the performance of a hybrid analog / digital signal processing architecture that goes beyond the usual CMOS integration.
The objective of the project is to develop a proof of concept prototype to optimize energy efficiency and reduce the costs of millimeter-wave multi-antenna networks for a wide range of applications such as high speed wireless communication based on active antenna arrays and electron beams. ,
The fundamental challenge is to produce powerful antenna systems for the millimeter wave range at low cost and low power consumption.
“GaN RF technology offers significant performance advantages over established LDMOS or GaAs technologies, such as improved bandwidth and energy efficiency,” said Dr. Marianne Germain, CEO of EpiGaN, one of the industrial and academic institutions involved in the project.
“Our GaN-on-Si technology is capable of delivering excellent high power density and efficiency (EAP), excellent gain and low RF losses up to 100 GHz, starting with semiconductor technology fundamentally better. Designed specifically for the millimeter wave range, we can improve the performance of the device for many RF applications. ”
GaN is considered a key factor in 5G wireless communication because it requires ultra-fast connections for multimedia streaming, virtual reality, M2M and autonomous driving.
“GaN RF technology offers significant performance advantages over established LDMOS or GaAs technologies, such as improved bandwidth and energy efficiency.”
Dr. Marianne Germain, CEO, EpiGaN
As these innovations become commercialized, services supported by 5G will experience lower latency and improved energy efficiency.
Many of the technologies associated with 5G are already in the labs and although the technical challenges of 5G need not be minimized, many researchers and engineers are working to solve these problems.