mmWave Test Platform To Catalyse 5G Development


NYU Wireless research center has announced it is building an advanced programmable platform for the development of millimeter wave (mmWave) wireless communication, which is potentially a key to launching 5G.

The mmWave spectrum could provide 200 times the capacity of all of today’s cellular spectrum allocations, and 5G can support data connection speeds exceeding 10 Gbps which is a 1000 times faster than current 4G data rates.

NYU Wireless will collaborate with SiBEAM and NI to build a new software-defined radio (SDR) platform designed to rapidly design, prototype and validate key technologies for the mmWave radio spectrum. The platform is claimed to be one of the first of its kind for those who are working with the early stages of mmWave technology.


SiBEAM will provide the radio frequency front end for the platform, and National Instruments will provide a high bandwidth and massive baseband processing system to create mmWave prototypes capable of high data rates and very low latency.

James Kimery, director of RF research and SDR marketing at NI, said: “Our software-defined platform based on LabVIEW and PXI is ideal for researching and prototyping cutting-edge technology to achieve faster data rates in the mmWave spectrum.”

mmWave wireless communication works by concentrating energy in narrow beams to produce highly-directional transmissions. Current prototypes of mmWave technology rely on directional horn antennas mounted on mechanical gimbals, which are slow for mobile applications. The new platform will include a phased array with no physically moving parts and near-instantaneous electrical steering.

Sohrab Emami, chief architect at SiBEAM, said: “Only mmWave spectrum provides sufficient capacity to enable the applications envisaged for 5G services and that our electrically steerable phased array antenna technology is fundamental to delivering those services effectively.”



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