・Phased Array Antenna Module with integrated RF functions
・Sufficient TX output power required of base stations with high efficiency and low-power consumption
・Accurate beam steering with fine resolution by true-time-delay–type phase shifters
We commercialize Phased Array Antennal Module (hereafter, “PAAM”) FutureAccess™ for 5G millimeter wave (hereafter, “mmWave”) communications operated on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) frequency bands: n257 (28 GHz), n258 (26 GHz), and n261 (27 GHz). Fujikura PAAM is equipped with proprietary RF-ICs developed-in-house. We will begin providing samples of those frequency bands from the first half of FY2021 and plan to start mass production in the second half of FY2021.
PAAM with integrated RF functions provided by us will reduce the development burden and time to market of user’s base station equipment.
Feature1: High-precision, high-resolution beam steering control by true-time-delay-type phase shifters
Fujikura PAAM provides a high-quality communications environment with no dead spots throughout base stations area by accurate beamforming.
Feature2: Sufficient TX output power required of base stations with high efficiency and low-power consumption
Fujikura PAAM simplifies the thermal management of base stations, therefore enables miniaturization and cost reduction.
Feature3: Flexible tuning for the noise figure and linearity of receiver
Fujikura PAAM enables flexible settings depending on various location conditions of base station from macrocell to microcell.
Feature4: Supporting dual polarization in both transmission and reception
Fujikura PAAM transmits and receives the signals in both horizontal and vertical polarization. This contributes to miniaturization and cost reduction of base stations.
We supply PAAM having these features and will contribute to rapid expansion of 5G areas and greater satisfaction of end-users.
Figure1: Block diagram of Fujikura PAAM
Figure2: Concept of PAAM’s package
RF Module in FWA and MWA Base Stations
Applicable as RF module to base stations for FWA(Fixed Wireless Access) and MWA(Mobile Wireless Access).
CHALLENGES IN COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS
Increasing Communication Speed and Capacity Is an Important Challenge for Society
Various applications such as video streaming and VR/AR games are widely spreading. These rich applications require high-speed and large-capacity communications, but the Sub 6 GHz frequency bands used in 4G is too narrow for these purposes. This is why mobile networks are starting to move from 4G to 5G. In order to achieve the features offered by 5G: the enhanced Mobile BroadBand (10 Gbps), Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (< 1 ms), and massive Machine Type Communications (1 million per km2), new broadband communication infrastructures using mmWave bands (e.g., 28 GHz, 38 GHz, 47 GHz, and 60 GHz) are being developed worldwide.
FUJIKURA'S PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITY
Fujikura mmWave Technology Contributes to High-Speed, High-Capacity Communications
We at Fujikura see it as our mission to continue to help build communications infrastructure. To this end, we continue to provide products that support consecutive technological innovations. We build on technology cultivated over our 135-year history, starting with conductors and moving on to optical cables and wireless communications. Now we are developing mmWave devices that incorporate our phased array antenna design technology, FPC production technology and electromagnetic field analysis technology.
In addition to developing a 60 GHz mmWave communications module with integrated an RF module and a BB module, we are also developing RF-ICs and PAAM at the 28 GHz frequency bands. Our 60 GHz mmWave wireless communications module simultaneously achieves world top-class transmission speeds (>2 Gbps) and long-distance transmission (> 500 m).
We also start developing band-pass filters and other low-loss, high-performance devices even for 70 GHz frequency bands and above.
To rapidly transmit and receive large amounts of data at once, it is essential to increase communication speeds. The use of broad frequency bands is one method for increasing communication speeds. At present, the Ultra-high Frequency (UHF) bands, or so-called centimeter wave bands, are used for communications. However, these frequency bands are divided up for use in various applications. This makes it difficult to secure broad frequency bands.
For example, 3GPP, has assigned the sub-6 GHz frequency bands and the mmWave frequency bands including 28 GHz for 5G. In the sub-6 GHz frequency bands, n77 and n79 have relatively narrow bandwidths of 900 MHz (3.3-4.2 GHz) and 600 MHz (4.4-5.0 GHz), respectively. In contrast, in the 28 GHz bands, n257 and n258 have wide bandwidths of 3 GHz (26.5-29.5 GHz) and 3.25 GHz (24.25-27.5 GHz), respectively. These broad bandwidths increase communication speeds dramatically to realize gigabit-class high-speed communications.
Figure3: Frequency bands used in wireless communications
Deployment of mmWave Frequency Bands in 5G Communications Networks
5G communications networks mainly use two types of frequency bands: Sub-6 GHz frequency bands of less than 6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands such as 28 GHz. Both access networks and backhaul networks requiring ultrahigh speed communications mainly use mmWave to increase communication speed. However, higher propagation loss of mmWave frequency compared to the Sub-6 frequency narrows the transmission ranges. As a result, base stations using mmWave frequency bands shall be used mainly for small cells covering several hundred meters areas in maximum, not for conventional macrocells covering about several kilometers area. Therefore, they must be deployed at high densities.
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