Connecting the World with 5G: The Essentials

In the first phase of 5G NR standardization, the primary focus has been on defining a radio access technology (RAT) that takes advantage of new wideband frequency allocations, both sub-6 GHz and above 24 GHz, to achieve the huge peak throughputs and low latencies proposed by the International Mobile Telecommunications vision for 2020 and beyond. Mobile network operators are capitalizing on the improvements introduced, particularly in the mmWave bands, to deliver gigabit fixed wireless access (FWA) services to houses, apartments and businesses, in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional cable and fiber to the home installations. Carriers are also using FWA as the testbed toward a truly mobile broadband experience.

In this article, Qorvo analyzes the architecture, semiconductor technology and RF front-end design needed to deliver these new mmWave FWA services. It discusses the link budget requirements and walk through an example of suburban deployment. It also addresses the traits and trade-offs of hybrid beamforming versus all-digital beamforming for the base transceiver station (BTS) and analyze the semiconductor technology and RFFE components that enable each. Finally, Qorvo discusses the design of a GaN-on-SiC front-end module designed specifically for the 5G FWA market

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