25 February 2014
InterDigital and Imec to co-develop 60GHz mmW and phased-array technology for 5G-ready small-cell backhaul
Wireless R&D firm InterDigital Inc and nano-electronics research center Imec have agreed to develop 60GHz millimeter-wave (mmW) radio and phased-array technology for small-cell backhaul and 5G wireless communications. The technology will enable easier deployments for small cell mobile backhaul resulting in lower cost solutions for high-speed data delivery.
Imec will work with InterDigital’s 5G research team to develop a high-gain, wideband radio and phased-array antenna with fast electrical steering in azimuth and elevation. This fourth generation of Imec’s phased-array antenna technology will be combined with InterDigital’s directional mesh backhaul and 5G access link technologies on InterDigital’s mmW Hotspot Demonstration Platform, which is being designed for gigabit per second rates across small-cell backhaul radio links.
Existing mmW solutions for backhaul are fixed point-to-point, resulting in costly installation expenses for installers to align links as well as capital expenditure for additional radios for each connection. InterDigital and Imec will provide radio and phased-array technologies to combine the high gain needed to close mmW links with the rapid beam steering that enables reliable and cost-effective mesh network small cell backhaul solutions.
“Phased-array antennas are a cornerstone to mmW wireless evolution,” says Doug Castor, principal engineer, InterDigital Labs. “Imec’s mmW technology, and the expertise of their researchers, will be a great complement to InterDigital’s 5G development projects,” he adds.
“Imec’s R&D on 60GHz phased-array radios has resulted in small CMOS-based solutions with record low power consumption for 802.11ad/WiGiG,” says Liesbet Van der Perre, program director, wireless communication at Imec. “Together, we aim at leveraging our expertise for outdoor backhaul solutions,” he adds. “This collaboration is a reinforcement of our strategy to bring attractive implementations for 5G terminals and networks to the industry.”
InterDigital and Imec completed a millimeter-wave backhaul feasibility study in 2013. The new agreement represents InterDigital’s continuing collaboration in 5G with industry and university partners.
Imec is exhibiting in Hall 7 Booth G071 at the Mobile World Conference (MWC 2014) in Barcelona, Spain (24-28 February). InterDigital has a pavilion in Hall 7 Stand 7A71.