5G RFICs take mmWave from baseband to antenna

Sivers Semiconductors’ TRB02801 and TRB03901 provide a complete baseband-to-antenna signal chain, covering 28 GHz and 39 GHz. 5G Technology World spoke with CEO Anders Storm about the RFIC functions and applications.

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5G base stations, small cells, and customer-premise equipment (CPE) for fixed-wireless access (FWA) typically support the 28 GHz and 39 GHz FR2 mmWave bands. The signal chain requires numerous components to bring the baseband signals up to carrier frequencies. The TRB02801 and TRB03901 RF transceivers from Sivers Semiconductors integrate all those functions into a single device.

While you have options for designing with discrete functional blocks such as amplifiers and beamformers, Sivers Semiconductors lets you perform those functions in a single RFIC. Connecting between a 5G modem and phased-array antennas, the TRB02801 and TRB03901 perform all RF functions, from analog baseband to amplified RF for transmitting. They also process received signals through an inverse signal chain. The block diagram shows how the devices combine power amplifiers (PAs), low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), low-pass filters, mixers, and other components. The devices support 256 QAM or greater OFDM modulation. The TRB02801 covers 24.25 GHz to 29.5 GHz while the TRB03901 covers 37.0 GHz to 43.5 GHz.

Anders storm“One chip does everything from baseband to RF,” said Sivers Group CEO Anders Storm in a conversation with 5G Technology World. The devices support a zero-IF and baseband IF signals. “We get an IQ signal from the baseband,” said Storm. “Our partners such as Renesas and NXP send a serial or low IF signal. We then do the analog baseband filtering and low IF processing, say at a 7 GHz IF.”

These transceivers support 32 I/O ports using 2×16 horizontal and vertical polarization. If you need more antenna elements, you can use more than a single device.

Both devices will be in production in Q4 2022 with engineering samples available in Q4 2021.

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