Renesas
1121 Mw Renesas 5 G Beamformer I Cs Promo 618e99d5a43d0

5G mmWave Beamformer ICs Boost Transmitter Output Power Capability

Nov. 12, 2021
Renesas’ third-generation beamformer ICs enable high-efficiency, low-cost phased-array radios with extended signal range for 5G wireless and fixed wireless access.

The Overview

Renesas has debuted two new dual-polarization, mmWave beamformer ICs devices optimized for 2x2 antenna architecture for 5G and broadband wireless applications. The company claims best-in-class performance in the n257, n258, and 261 bands.

The highly integrated F5288 and F5268 transmitter/receiver (8T8R) chipsets sit on a small 5.1- × 5.1-mm BGA package and deliver the industry’s highest Tx output power capability in silicon—more than 15.5 dBm of linear output power[1] per channel.

Who Needs It and Why?

At mmWave 5G frequencies, adequate signal range is among the top challenges facing the industry for both urban and suburban mobile and fixed wireless networks. Beamformer ICs with increased power output are aimed squarely at this issue, enabling design of cost-effective radios with extended signal reach in wireless-infrastructure applications. These include wide-area, small-cell, and macro base stations, as well as consumer premises equipment (CPE), fixed wireless-access points, and various other applications.

The new F5288 and F5268 ICs feature Renesas’ Dynamic Array Power (DAP) technology, which enables high-efficiency operation at linear output power levels programmable from 10 dBm up to 16 dBm. This makes the third-generation ICs applicable to mobile and fixed wireless applications with a wide range of output power requirements. It also allows users to reduce design times by repurposing their antenna-array designs across different applications.

Under the Hood

Renesas’ third-generation mmWave beamformer ICs address all the beamforming capabilities required by 5G systems while achieving the highest linear RF output power in any silicon technology with high efficiency. 

The 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. The exposed die package allows for more efficient thermal management at the board with improved heat dissipation through the back of the IC. In addition, Renesas designed the package pin map to simplify board design and reduce design risks. Lower complexity PCB design with minimum layer counts results in reduced board costs and faster time to market.

The F5288 and F5268 ICs also feature several Renesas technologies to enhance array-level performance. Dynamic Array Power technology allows for a graceful scaling of output power with high efficiency. ArraySense technology with comprehensive on-chip sensor network allows users to monitor IC performance in array operation and apply critical corrections real-time. RapidBeam advanced digital control technology enables simultaneous synchronous and asynchronous control of several beamformer ICs to achieve extremely fast beamsteering operations.

Additional features include:

  • 26.5 to 29.5 GHz (F5288) and 24.25 to 27.5 GHz (F5268) operation
  • Advanced temperature compensation techniques to minimize RF performance degradation with varying temperatures
  • 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
  • Improved Rx linearity modes to provide additional flexibility for the receiver lineup
  • Rx noise figures 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.

[1] Linear output power level defined at EVM <3% using a 400-MHz, 5G NR CP-OFDM waveform with 120-kHz sub-carrier spacing and 11.7-dB PAR.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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