Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have designed an accurate 39GHz beamforming transceiver with integrated gain phase calibration, which could be used to boost 5G networks and other wireless equipment, including smartphones, base stations, and IoT devices. While the researchers previously focused on the 28GHz spectrum for 5G applications, more and more countries are looking at adopting 5G in the 39GHz range.
The new transceiver was inspired by a 64-element phase-array design with built-in phase gain phase calibration, which means it can boost beamforming accuracy, increase signal strength, and reduce the amount of radiation emitted. The researchers manufactured the transceiver using a 65-nanometer CMOS process, created with low-cost silicon-based components, making it easy to mass produce.
The beamforming transceiver’s calibration gives it an extremely low root-mean-square phase error of just 0.08-degrees and offers a maximum gain variation of 0.04dB over a full 3600 tuning range. Project leader Kenichi Okada states, “We were surprised to achieve such a low gain variation when actually using the calibration based on our local-oscillator (LO) phase-shifting approach.”
The transceiver also has a maximum EIRP (Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power) of 53dBm, providing the device increased power throughout its 64 antennas. Indoor testing using a one-meter over-the-air measurement, showed it’s capable of supporting a wireless transmission signal of 400MHz with 64QAM. Okada explains, “By increasing the array scale, we can achieve greater communication distance. The challenge will be to develop the transceiver for use in smartphones and base stations for 5G and beyond.”