E-band transmitter module based mostly on GaN for 6G cellular communications

E-band transmitter module based on GaN for 6G mobile communications

GaN-based E band module for broadband point-to-point knowledge hyperlinks over lengthy distances in 6G cellular communications. Credit: Fraunhofer IAF

6G cellular communications is anticipated to pave the best way for revolutionary functions resembling synthetic intelligence, digital actuality and web of issues by 2030. This would require a a lot increased efficiency functionality than that of the present 5G cellular commonplace, involving new {hardware} options. At EuMW 2022, Fraunhofer IAF will due to this fact current an energy-efficient GaN-based transmitter module for the 6G-relevant frequency ranges above 70 GHz, which was developed collectively with Fraunhofer HHI. The excessive efficiency of the module has already been demonstrated at Fraunhofer HHI.

Self-driving vehicles, telemedicine, automated factories—promising future functions like these in transport, well being care and trade depend upon data and communications technology that exceeds the efficiency scope of the present fifth-generation cellular communications commonplace (5G). 6G cellular communications, which is anticipated to be launched in 2030, guarantees the mandatory high-speed networking for knowledge volumes required sooner or later, with knowledge charges exceeding 1 Tbit/s and latencies all the way down to 100 µs.

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI have been engaged on the novel high-frequency parts wanted for 6G cellular communications since 2019 as a part of the KONFEKT mission (“Components for 6G Communications”).

The researchers have developed transmitter modules based mostly on the ability semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN), with which the frequency ranges round 80 GHz (E-band) and 140 GHz (D-band) could be tapped for the primary time with this know-how. The revolutionary E-band transmitter module, with its excessive efficiency that has already been efficiently examined by Fraunhofer HHI, can be offered to the professional public on the European Microwave Week (EuMW) in Milan, Italy, from September 25 to 30, 2022.

E-band transmitter module based on GaN for 6G mobile communications
E-band transmitter with GaN module, 3D-printed antenna and Rotman lens. Credit: Fraunhofer HHI

Innovative {hardware} as a consequence of broadband compound semiconductors and SLM processes

“6G requires new types of hardware because of the high demands on performance and efficiency,” explains Dr. Michael Mikulla from Fraunhofer IAF, who’s coordinating the KONFEKT mission. “Components at the current state of the art are reaching their limits. This applies in particular to the underlying semiconductor technology and the assembly and antenna technology. To achieve better results in output power, bandwidth and power efficiency, we use GaN-based monolithic integrated microwave circuits (MMICs) for our module instead of the silicon circuits currently in use. As a wide-bandgap semiconductor, GaN can process higher voltages and at the same time enables significantly lower-loss and more compact components. In addition, we are eliminating surface mount and planar packaging structures to design a lower-loss beamforming architecture with waveguides and inherent parallel circuitry.”

Fraunhofer HHI can be closely concerned within the analysis of 3D-printed waveguides. Several parts, together with energy splitters, antennas and antenna feeders, have been designed, fabricated and characterised utilizing the selective laser melting (SLM) course of. This course of additionally makes it attainable to shortly and cost-effectively manufacture parts that can’t be produced utilizing standard strategies, paving the best way for the event of 6G know-how.

E-band transmitter module based on GaN for 6G mobile communications
Successful reception of 64QAM modulated knowledge at a distance of 600 meters at 85 GHz. Credit: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

“Through these technical innovations, the Fraunhofer Institutes IAF and HHI are taking Germany and Europe a significant step forward towards the mobile communications of the future, while at the same time making an important contribution to domestic technological sovereignty,” Mikulla says.

High-performance transmitter modules for future 6G frequency bands efficiently demonstrated

The E-band module achieves a linear output energy of 1 W within the frequency range from 81 GHz to 86 GHz by coupling the transmit energy of 4 particular person modules with extraordinarily low-loss waveguide parts. This makes it appropriate for broadband point-to-point knowledge hyperlinks over lengthy distances, which is a key functionality for future 6G architectures.

E-band transmitter module based on GaN for 6G mobile communications
E-band receiver in outside transmission experiment at 85 GHz. Credit: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

Various transmission experiments carried out by Fraunhofer HHI have already demonstrated the efficiency of the collectively developed parts: In completely different outside situations, alerts similar to the present growth specs of 5G (5G-NR Release 16 of the worldwide mobile communications standardization group 3GPP) had been transmitted at 85 GHz with a bandwidth of 400 MHz.

With a transparent line-of-sight, knowledge was efficiently transmitted over a distance of 600 meters in 64-symbol quadrature amplitude modulation (64-QAM), making certain a excessive bandwidth effectivity of 6 bits/s/Hz. The Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) of the acquired sign was -24.43 dB, effectively beneath the 3GPP restrict of -20.92 dB. With line-of-sight obstructed by timber and parked autos, 16QAM modulated knowledge might be efficiently transmitted over a distance of 150 meters. Even with a very blocked line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver, it was nonetheless attainable to transmit and efficiently obtain four-phase modulated knowledge (Quaternary Phase-Shift Keying, QPSK) with an effectivity of two bits/s/Hz. The excessive signal-to-noise ratio of generally greater than 20 dB in all situations is outstanding, particularly contemplating the frequency vary, and is just made attainable by the high performance of the developed parts.

In a second strategy, a transmitter module for the frequency vary round 140 GHz was developed, combining an output energy of greater than 100 mW with an excessive bandwidth of 20 GHz. Tests with this module are nonetheless pending. Both transmitter modules are very best parts for the event and testing of future 6G programs within the terahertz frequency vary.

Satellite transmits test signals in Q and W band for the first time

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Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

E-band transmitter module based mostly on GaN for 6G cellular communications (2022, September 21)
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