Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a tiny 28GHz transceiver meant for capable of establishing a stable high-speed 5G communication.
Most modern transceivers designed for 5G employ RF phase shifters, which allow the transceiver to guide the main lobe of the radiation pattern of the antenna array. Basically, this means it "points" the antenna array towards a specific direction so that both communicating ends (transmitter and receiver) exchange signals with the highest power possible
However, many communications experts have said that using these RF phase shifters bring about certain complications and does not quite make the cut for the super fast transmitting speeds of 5G technology.
So this is where the Japanese researchers' 28GHz transceiver comes in. The breakthrough, led by Associate Professor Kenichi Okada is said to trump previous designs by taking a new approach for something called "beam steering".
Instead of using multiple RF phase shifters, the scientists designed a circuit that allows the transceiver to shift the phase of a local oscillator in steps of 0.04 degrees with minimal error.
In turn, this allows for a beam-steering resolution of 0.1 degree, which is an improvement of an order of magnitude compared with previous designs and means the antenna array can be made to precisely point towards the desired direction.
The researchers were able to implement the transceiver in a circuit board measuring just 4mm by 3mm using minimal components. They then compared the performance of their device with that of other state-of-the-art transceivers for 5G and found that the data rate they achieved was approximately 10Gb/s higher than that achieved with other methods.
The results of the study are being presented at the 2018 IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium in the RMo2A session, with the hope that it will help with the deployment of 5G mobile networks and the development of faster, more reliable wireless communications.
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