Movandi unveils 60-GHz mmWave chipset, upgrades smart repeaters

Movandi Corp. recently unveiled its first 60-MHz mmWave chipset, bolstering its market position in 5G mmWave infrastructure. Joining a family of chipsets that support major licensed and unlicensed mmWave frequency bands, the MV6055 chipset covers the entire unlicensed band between 57–71 GHz. The new chipset addresses a range of applications, including wireless backhaul, 5G NR-Unlicensed, and fixed wireless access.  The company also announced new features and capabilities for its BeamXR-powered smart repeaters, including expanded mmWave frequency range support.

With the addition of the 60-GHz chipset, together with the 24-, 26-, 28-, and 39-GHz, this gives Movandi global spectrum coverage with a set of chips that can address 5G licensed and unlicensed frequency bands, said Craig Ochikubo, executive vice president, marketing, at Movandi.

With its BeamX/BeamXR-powered RF front-end solutions and repeaters, Movandi said it addresses the key challenges of broad mmWave deployment, including signal range, line of sight requirement, poor penetration, and maintaining a quality connection. The mmWave solutions also have been demonstrated to lower operational costs as well as accelerate deployment time. Potential use cases include outdoor mesh, venues like stadiums, outdoor-to-indoor as well as indoor coverage, vehicles, and fixed wireless access.

Understanding the challenges of 5G mmWave

Movandi is positioning itself to take advantage of the growing demand for 5G mmWave, which is expected to take-off in 2022, followed by accelerating growth over the next five years, according to research firm Mobile Experts. Movandi’s portfolio now includes expanded RF chipsets for 60-GHz and sub-6 GHz, a Beam XR repeater mesh, 5G mmWave ORAN-RU PAAM for infrastructure, and cloud software with artificial intelligence (AI).

Movandi unveils 60-GHz mmWave chipset, upgrades smart repeaters

(Source: Movandi Corp. and Mobile Experts Inc.)

60-GHz mmWave chipset

The MV6055 60-MHz mmWave chipset integrates a dual-polarized, 16-channel beamformer with up and down converters in a single package and is paired with the MV3504 synthesizer and antennas for a full radio solution. When paired with the MV3504, Movandi claims excellent phase noise, exceeding requirements for 64 QAM+.

Movandi unveils 60-GHz mmWave chipset, upgrades smart repeaters

MV6055 60-GHz wwWave chipset (Source: Movandi Corp.)

Other key features include dual polarization/dual stream in a single chip, an EVM floor of <-30 dB across the entire band of 57-71 GHz, and support for 5G NR-U features including OFDMA and fast beamforming, TDD switching, and AGC. It is compliant with 802.11ad/ay, Point-to-Point FDD Backhaul, and 5G NR-U.

Movandi said the new 60-MHz solution will deliver “fiber-like speeds” at a fraction of the cost of deploying new fiber. In addition, the scalable architecture allows for multiple MV6055 beamformers to be combined to achieve higher effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) to cover line-of-sight distances up to 2 km.

“There are three big applications for 60 GHz. These are fixed wireless access, wireless backhaul, and 5G NR unlicensed,” said Ochikubo.

The big key element is integrating 16 channels of beamformer, which is a much higher level of integration, said Ochikubo, and the up/down converters that makes it easier to create these high-gain antennas.

The 5G chipset supports a “very agile beamformer technology, so it’ll mimic exactly what we can do with a very agile 5G base station at 28 GHz, for example, Ochikubo said. “We can do it now at 60 GHz and that gets us into bands [57-71 GHz] with much lower oxygen absorption so we get a much longer range.”

“It’s a much better propagation, so you can get a much longer range with the same amount of transmit power and that is starting to address some of the challenges that kept 60-GHz from growing,” he added.

 “We’re providing an extra level of performance to be able to support 5G waveform signaling at 60 GHz and the advantage is you’re able to create access to a fixed wireless connection, for example, but utilize the 5G infrastructure,” said Ochikubo.

It enables operators to leverage the scale of 5G for deployment without paying billions of dollars for spectrum, he added.

The Movandi MV6055 chipset is currently sampling to select customers, which will be followed by demonstrations in the first quarter of 2022 and mass production in the second quarter 2022.

Smart repeaters

Movandi’s repeater roadmap includes a repeater mesh, a sub-6 smart repeater, and a solar-powered smart repeater as part of its recent expansion. Building ON its second generation 5G RF-to-antenna BeamX technology, the upgraded features and capabilities for its BeamXR-powered smart repeaters include expanded mmWave spectrum, sub-6 GHz modules, new mesh indoor and outdoor software with cloud intelligence, and outdoor solar-powered smart repeater support.

Movandi unveils 60-GHz mmWave chipset, upgrades smart repeaters

BeamXR repeater mesh (Source: Movandi Corp.)

Available within the smart repeater line are new chipsets that expand the frequency range support, including the MV395x for 39 GHz, MV285x for 28 GHz and the MV265x for 24/26 GHz that are commercially available today as well as the new 60-GHz MV6055. The chipsets include beamformer, up/down mixer and synthesizer with dual-beam/dual polarization and fast beam switching. Operators can share repeater boxes in public and private venues thanks to the multi-band chipsets.

A key new capability is the solar-powered BeamXR smart repeaters, which are optimized with sub-20 W power consumption, enabling the use of solar panels to power the smart repeaters. Ochikubo said this will simplify 5G deployment and permitting and can be used when there is limited or no electricity on pole.

The portfolio expansion also improves 5G mmWave indoor coverage with new sub-6 GHz repeater modules, which include 16 receive antennas. The company plans to demo the sub-6 GHz repeater performance in the first quarter of 2022, followed by production in the second half of 2022.

“Operators are telling us is that the challenges that exist at mmWave also exists with some of the mid-band spectrum at C-Band and CBRS and they need solutions that get you from outdoor to indoor, indoor coverage, more uniform coverage and blockage mitigation in outdoor environments, so we’re working to leverage a lot of what we’ve done in mmWave in a sub-6 GHz smart repeater product,” said Ochikubo.

Movandi also added a new BeamX mesh software for indoor and outdoor applications. The company has partnered with with Airfide Networks on a cloud-enabled repeater mesh. The repeaters are TDD-aware and up to four repeaters can be cascaded without degrading the noise floor.

“A repeater mesh for outdoor or indoor around a cluster of 5G small cells or gNodeBs is the most cost-effective method of expanding the mmWave signal coverage while preserving the signal quality and using cloud AI software to dynamically decide the best propagation routes,” said Movandi.

“Repeaters can be used as a means of of rerouting the gNodeB capacity, which provides a great deal of flexibility without having to deploy fiber and all these other things that a gNodeB would require, and that applies to both indoors as well as as outdoors,” he added.

The repeaters are great for providing this uniformity of coverage, extending the range of mmWave, said Ochikubo. “With the repeater mesh technology, we can support multiple hops of repeaters, so if a gNodeB needs to extend the range, we can do this multi-hop to get that coverage. We can do dynamic routing from the cloud control [BeamX Cloud and AI software].”

Another big part of Movandi’s portfolio are reference designs. “We create a reference platform that still allows flexibility for customers to optimize for their particular requirements, and that allows them to get to market quickly. It also allows them to leverage the expertise that we have quickly,” said Ochikubo.

Movandi also announced breakthrough performance of its 300+ antenna PAAM design using TSMC CMOS technology. The PAAM, using Movandi’s production chipsets, is capable of >59 dBm EIRP per beam, while maintaining better than 4% EVM, and is configurable in several modes of operation including 2T2R, 4T4R, and 8T8R.

In addition, the company recently demonstrated, via a prototype set-up, how mmWave 5G can deliver continuous connectivity in a moving vehicle. The demo used a BeamXR smart repeater with BeamX cloud software control and machine learning. You can watch the video here.