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Plextek Reveals 28GHz Power Amplifier For Emerging 5G Standard

4-channel IC design offers a compact means of beam steering integral to the PA

Plextek RFI presented details of  'A 4-Channel 28GHz Power Amplifier with 4-Bit Digital Phase Control for 5G RF Front Ends' at a 5G Radio Technology Seminar organised by The IET yesterday.

Plextek company also released a white paper on the development describing the design of a 4-channel transmitter IC with each channel containing a PA and an independently controllable 4-bit phase shifter. A layout plot of one channel of the transmitter chip is shown above. The IC is designed using a commercially available 0.15µm GaAs pHEMT process and is intended to be housed in a low cost SMT package suitable for low cost volume production.

5G communications technology promises the user the perception of near infinite capacity. This requires a step change in data rates, and will be facilitated by a move to higher transmission frequencies where wider bandwidths are more readily available. New innovative components will be required to meet this demand.

The 27.5 to 29.5GHz band is a strong candidate for the new 5G radio interface and much of the research undertaken to date has considered this band.

The 4-channel power amplifier IC design described offers a compact means of providing beam steering as an integral part of the PA. Each channel of the IC includes a PA with an output power capability of +30dBm at 1dB compression and an IP3 of +38dBm, and includes an integral 4-bit, digitally controlled phase shifter having an rms phase error of 2.3°.

Liam Devlin of Plextek RFI will be presenting more detailed information on the IC at the next ARMMS RF and Microwave Conference on 20 - 21 April.



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