Beamformer ICs enable extended signal range for 5G wireless

Renesas Electronics Corp. has expanded its 5G beamformer IC family with two new dual-polarization mmWave devices optimized for the 2×2 antenna architecture for 5G and broadband wireless applications at n257, n258, and 261 bands. The F5288 and F5268 transmitter/receiver (8T8R) chipsets are highly integrated devices, housed in a 5.1 × 5.1 mm BGA package.

Beamformer ICs enable extended signal range for 5G wirelessThe F5288 (26.5 GHz – 29.5 GHz) and F5268 (24.25GHz – 27.5GHz) reportedly offers the highest Tx output power capability in silicon, delivering more than 15.5 dBm Linear output power per channel. (The linear output power level is defined at EVM <3% using a 400 MHz 5G NR CP-OFDM waveform with 120 kHz sub-carrier spacing and 11.7 dB PAR.) Together, the high integration, Tx output power capability, and small size, enable the extended signal reach for wireless infrastructure applications including wide-area, small cell and macro base stations, as well as CPE, fixed wireless access (FWA) access points, and other applications.

Adequate signal range is the biggest challenge as the industry shifts to 5G mmWave technologies in urban and suburban mobile and fixed wireless networks, according to Naveen Yanduru, vice president of RF Communications Product Division, Renesas.

Yanduru believes the new small, integrated beamformer ICs are a game changer that will enable communications customers to implement cost-effective base station and FWA designs for long-range wireless applications.

The new F5288 and F5268 ICs feature a unique Dynamic Array Power (DAP) technology that allows high-efficiency operation at linear output power levels programmable from 10 dBm up to 16 dBm. This makes the third-generation ICs suited for mobile and fixed wireless applications with a wide range of output power requirements. It also enables communications systems designers to repurpose their antenna array designs across different applications.

Beamformer ICs enable extended signal range for 5G wireless

Renesas F5288 beamformer block diagram

The beamformer ICs also feature the company’s ArraySense technology with an ON-chip sensor network that allows users to monitor IC performance in array operation and apply corrections in real-time, and RapidBeam advanced digital control technology that enables simultaneous synchronous and asynchronous control of several beamformer ICs for extremely fast beamsteering operations.

In addition, the beamformer ICs’ dual-polarization 8-channel architecture provides a highly symmetric and very low loss antenna routing network to improve overall antenna efficiency and reduce board costs, said Renesas.  The mmWave devices also enable more efficient thermal management on the board and better heat dissipation through the back of the IC thanks to the exposed die package.

Beamformer ICs enable extended signal range for 5G wireless

Renesas F5268 beamformer block diagram

Other features include advanced temperature compensation techniques, state-of-the-art phase and gain control including 360° phase control range with true 6-bit resolution and up to 31.5 dB gain control with 0.5 dB steps, and improved Rx linearity modes. Rx noise figures are claimed as low as ~4.5 dB at room temperature and under 5.5 dB at temperatures up to 95°C

The F5288 and F5268 beamformer ICs and evaluation systems are available now. Renesas also offers a new Base Station Antenna Front End Winning Combination that features the new F5288 and F5268 beamformer ICs with the company’s F5728 up/down converters, 8V97003 wideband mmWave synthesizer, and a variety of Renesas power management ICs.

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