Bits to Beams: RF Technology Evolution for 5G Millimeter Wave Radios

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  • Author: Thomas Cameron

When the wireless industry embarked on the creation of 5G, 2020 seemed so far away. Now we are quickly closing in on 2020 and this will most certainly be the 5G decade. Every day there are announcements in the press of new field trials and upcoming commercial 5G rollouts. It’s a very exciting time for the wireless industry. Currently, much of the industry 5G focus is on enhanced mobile broadband, driving toward higher and higher network capacity and throughput utilizing beam-forming techniques in the mid band and high band spectrum.

This article is organized into three major topics. In the first section, we  will discuss some of the leading use cases for millimeter wave communication and set the stage for the analysis that follows. In the second and third sections, we will delve into the architectures and technology for millimeter wave base station systems. In the second section, we will discuss technology for the beamformers and how the required transmit power influences the choice of technology for the system front end.

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