NI and Eta Wireless Develop Digital Envelope Tracking Solution for mm-Wave 5G Devices

NI has collaborated with Eta Wireless to implement and demonstrate full support of ETAdvanced, the industry’s first ever Digital Envelope Tracking (ET) technology for mm-Wave 5G RF front-end devices. The technology was developed by Cambridge-based Eta Wireless and it enables extended battery life in smartphones, wearables, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, improving both data rates and connectivity range.

ETAdvanced addresses the power efficiency challenges that have historically plagued RF front-ends. Wideband power amplifiers (PAs), such as those found in 5G devices, waste a significant amount of power in the form of heat, greatly reducing battery life. ETAdvanced uses the signal’s envelope information to increase the amplifier’s efficiency by delivering only the power needed at that instant.

Full support of ETAdvanced was achieved using NI software-connected PXI systems, making possible a tightly synchronized combination of fine digital edge placement, as well as wideband 5G new radio (NR) generation and analysis with the mmWave Vector Signal Transceiver (VST). These technologies helped Eta Wireless demonstrate a data rate improvement of 3x and the doubling of the PA’s output power, addressing core power and thermal problems of 5G mmWave deployments. The increase in range and throughput for a given power budget makes ETAdvanced technology a key enabler for mmWave 5G radios.

NI’s PXI-based solution for RF and digital signal generation extracts peak performance of ETAdvanced technology in the lab setting. NI’s support for Digital ET will help mobile device companies accelerate mmWave deployments and provide end customers with a superior user experience.

Ritu Favre, senior vice president and general manager of NI’s semiconductor business unit, stated that at NI, they equip their customers to engineer ambitiously by providing the tools and expertise required to help the customers test new ideas. Connecting Eta Wireless with technology that helps solve one of the biggest challenges facing 5G adoption is at the heart of their vision to accelerate 5G commercialization.

NI is showcasing this solution at the Virtual IMS 2020 event that started this week. The event will take place from 4-6 August with all presentations and content available for viewing till 30 September 2020.

Click here to see what other companies are showcasing at IMS 2020.