Fastest bidirectional phased-array link in 28-GHz 5G band demonstrated

Fastest bidirectional phased-array link in 28-GHz 5G band demonstrated

Technology News |
Keysight Technologies, working with the University of California San Diego, has disclosed what the collaborators believe to be fastest bidirectional phased-array link in the 28 GHz 5G band, yielding up to 8 Gbps data rate using a bidirectional 64-element link with phased-array beam-pointing capabilities. This technology could be applicable to 5G, aerospace and defence.
By Rich Pell


The demonstration made use of University of California (UC) San Diego transmit/receive phased-array chips with a noise figure less than 4.6 dB, fabricated on the TowerJazz (foundry) high-performance SiGe (silicon-germanium) BiCMOS SBC18H3 process.

The demonstration included a 64-element array that achieved a data rate of 12 Gbps at 0 degrees and more than 8 Gbps over all scan angles up to ±50 degrees in azimuth and ±25 degrees in elevation at a link distance of 300 metres. The array produced data rates of up to 18 Gbps at shorter distances. The bit-error-rate was less than 10-7 at maximum scan angles. The results did not rely on any calibration on the 64-element phased-array, thereby greatly reducing implementation costs.

The 64-element phased array (pictured, above), built on a low-cost printed-circuit board, only consumed approximately 7-11 W of DC power in either its transmit (Tx) or receive (Rx) modes, as a result of the performance of the UC San Diego high-performance system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs.

UC San Diego used Keysight’s Signal Studio software to define and generate the 16-QAM and 64-QAM waveforms, with single and multiple carriers. Keysight’s 81199A Wideband Waveform Center software helped the team link the Tx and Rx units as well as improve the error vector magnitude (EVM) performance. The team also used Keysight’s 89600 VSA software to perform demodulation, channel equalization and analysis of advanced signals.

Keysight’s M8195A arbitrary waveform generator, E8267D PSG vector signal generator and DSOS804A high-definition oscilloscope were used to enable rapid prototyping as well as link equalization and state-of-the-art performance measurements across modulation bandwidths of up to 3 GHz frequencies.

“The results of our continuing collaboration with UC San Diego and the demonstrated advances in millimeter-wave technology provide critical proof of viability for 5G, especially in the fixed-broadband use case, which many pre-standardization efforts focus on,” said Dr. Mark Pierpoint, vice president and general manager, Keysight Internet Infrastructure Solutions.

Keysight: and

The University of California San Diego is active in mixed-signal, microwave and mm-wave RFICs, digital communications, applied electromagnetics, optics and nano-electronics research, and is home to the Center for Wireless Communications. For more information, please visit and

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