Researchers demonstrate world's first 5G, 100 to 200 meter communication link up to 2 Gbps

December 1, 2015 by Daniel Kane
Shown here is the Keysight equipment used for the 60-GHz 802.11ad and 5G link measurements with the UCSD 64-element wafer-scale phased array, including the M8190A arbitrary waveform generator, E8267D PSG vector signal generator and the DSOS804A Infiniium S-Series high-definition oscilloscope.

Keysight Technologies, Inc., in collaboration with electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego, has demonstrated the world's first 64 (8 x 8) and 256-element (16 x 16), 60-GHz silicon wafer-scale phased-array transmitter with integrated high-efficiency antennas for Gbps communications at 100 to 200 meters. With this demonstration, Keysight and UC San Diego have proven that a 5G communication link is not only possible, but can deliver record performance.

Keysight's collaboration with UC San Diego builds on an earlier effort between the university and TowerJazz, which resulted in development of the industry's first 64- and 256-element system-on-a chip (SoC) phased arrays operating at 60-GHz. Each wafer-scale SoC comprises a 60-GHz source, amplifiers, , phase shifters, voltage controlled amplifiers and high-efficiency on-chip antennas. The chips were designed to meet the needs of 5G high-performance Gbps data-rate communication systems with beamforming capabilities and for Aerospace & Defense systems.

Following the development of the phased-array SoCs, Keysight and UC San Diego set out to prove they could be used in a communications link. All work was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Keysight.

To develop that link, UC San Diego relied on a powerful suite of Keysight instruments that included the M8190A arbitrary waveform generator, E8267D PSG vector signal generator and the DSOS804A Infiniium S-Series high-definition oscilloscope with 10-bit ADC. For local oscillator generation, the Keysight E8257D PSG analog signal generator was employed.

The 60-GHz 802.11ad waveform UC San Diego required for the development effort was generated using Keysight's Signal Studio and analyzed using its 89600 VSA software. Keysight's 81199A Wideband Waveform Center software also proved valuable, helping UC San Diego link transmit and receive, apply digital pre-distortion and improve error-vector-magnitude.

"UC San Diego, a world leader in low-cost SiGe and CMOS phased-arrays, has demonstrated several phased-array systems operating in the 6- to 100-GHz range and developed the first affordable wafer-scale 64- and 256-element phased-array transmitter for 5G communications," said Gabriel M. Rebeiz, distinguished professor and wireless communications industry chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

"The Keysight suite of equipment and software, with its ease of use and technical support, proved essential to enabling the rapid demonstration of the 100-200 meter 802.11ad and 5G link and allowing our phased-array to scan +/-45 degrees in all planes," said Dr. Samet Zihir, post-doctoral fellow at UC San Diego. "We are very happy to have partnered with Keysight on this project, and we look forward to using this equipment and software suite on networked 5G systems."

"Keysight is actively involved in 5G standards development and is fully committed to innovating the solutions needed to accelerate deployment of the next generation of wireless communications," said Mark Pierpont, vice president and general manager of Keysight's Communications Measurement Solutions. "That's why we are so proud to have collaborated with UC San Diego on the 5G communication link. It not only represents a significant advance in the realization of 5G, but also paves the way for future research and development of millimeter-wave communication systems."

All Keysight instrumentation and software used in the development of the 5G communication link is available now. The phased-array SoCs are also now available.

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