BBox Makes 5G Beamforming Easier than Ever Before

5G New Radio requires the use of phased array antennas for beamforming. For beamforming to work, we need to feed an antenna array with signals that have different phases and amplitudes. This task is quite complex and usually requires a set up of its own. 

Tmytek, a Taiwanese mm-Wave company has created a solution for this. The BBox is a beamforming system that has been built for 5G developers, through which they can easily perform mmWave beamforming. This device makes it is easy to explore beam steering and beamforming characteristics and algorithms of phased antennas, before making the AiP (Antenna in Package). It has a USB control port on one end and then multiple channel outputs on the other end. A dedicated designed GUI control phase and amplitude of each RF channel independently and empowers antenna designers to conduct beamforming based on their designs. Software API is also provided to help production line automation and research environment setup.

The device covers a wide frequency range from 24 to 31 GHz and is available with several building blocks. A detachable antenna and active parts (PA/LNA/Phase shifter/TR switch) can be connected via high-frequency SMPM connectors (at the front panel of the BBox). 5G protocol developers can verify the beam tracking algorithm and protocols by connecting BBox to the baseband instrument. By using multiple BBox, MIMO with beamforming is possible.

The BBox is available in two options, BBox One (Small Cells) and BBox Lite (UE - Cell Phones and Tables). The Amplitude control range of BBox One for Tx is from 0 to 15 dB while for Rx is from -10 to 0 dB. For BBox One Lite Tx is from 10 to 25 dB while Rx is from 0 to 10 dB. Both One & Lite support full 360 degrees phase shifting with step of 5 degrees.

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