Holographic Beam Forming and Phased Arrays

Many in the telecom industry have debated whether millimeter wave spectrum could be effectively commercialized. But recent advances in beamforming antennas and generous spectrum allocations have positioned it as a gateway to 5G’s most bandwidth-hungry and exciting applications, such as immersive telepresence, VR/AR and remote operations. mmWave is also expected to rescue mobile operators in the US, South Korea and Japan as they run out of 5G mid-band capacity in 2021 or 2022 due to ever-increasing mobile data usage.

This paper explores the most important commercial enabler of mmWave, analog beamforming, by comparing two leading technologies: active phased arrays (APAs) and Holographic Beam Forming® (HBF). Digital beamforming, i.e., Massive MIMO, will not be discussed here because exorbitant power requirements and component costs associated with high sampling rates preclude it from practical usability at mmWave frequencies.

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