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Design Services:
mmWave 5G

PRFI has designed MMICs and components for mmWave 5G systems operating in most of the mmWave 5G bands, including the 28GHz 5G band, the 37GHz band and the 39GHz band. We have also developed components and MMICs for use in the 26GHz “Pioneer Band” for 5G in Europe.

mmWave 5G Design Examples

28GHz Doherty GaN PA

Doherty power amplifiers are widely used to improve power efficiency for communications applications. Short gate-length GaN-on-SiC MMIC processes have become commercially available, opening up the possibility of realising medium power, high-efficiency Doherty power amplifiers at mmWave frequencies. This PA for the 28GHz 5G frequency band was designed using an asymmetrical Doherty topology. First pass design success was achieved on the 0.15µm G28v5 GaN-on-SiC process from Wolfspeed. RFOW measured gain was 20dB with a peak output power of 35dBm and a PAE at 8dB back-off (27dBm RF output power) of 19%. Wide bandwidth and flat gain makes this part very attractive for 5G mmWave applications.

Read our article in Microwave Journal on the design of this 28GHz Doherty GaN PA

SMT Packaged 4-Channel mm-Wave PA for 5G Applications

mmWave 5G mobile devices make use of multiple parallel receive and transmit channels to implement electronic beam steering. This requires multi-channel components implemented in a low cost, compact manner. This 4-channel PA addresses these needs and covers the 27.5 to 28.35GHz 5G band. It’s a single chip component housed in a standard over-moulded, 5mm x 5mm plastic QFN package. Each PA exhibits a gain of 20dB with an RF output power of 24.5dBm at 1dB gain compression with a PAE of 20%. When operated at 7dB back-off to preserve modulation fidelity the third order intercept point is 31dBm.

Read our article in Microwave Journal about this design

28GHz 5G FEM MMIC in SMT Plastic Package

Designed on a commercially available ED PHEMT process, this MMIC includes LNA, PA, transmit power detector and a Tx/Rx switch with control logic. It covers 27GHz to 29.5GHz, which encompasses the full 28GHz 5G band (27.5 – 28.35GHz) and offers a receive NF of 3.3dB with 13.5dB gain from a current of just 10mA. In transmit mode it has a P-1dB of 20.2dBm at the common port and offers 7% PAE at 7dB back-off. It is housed in an overmolded plastic QFN package suitable for high volume SMT assembly.

Read a technical paper about this design

Multi-Chip SMT Module for the 26GHz 5G Pioneer Band

This Multi-Chip Module covers the 26GHz (24.25 to 27.5GHz) European 5G pioneer band and was developed in collaboration with Filtronic. It comprises LNA, PA and transmit/receive switch housed in a custom laminate SMT package measuring 10mm x 10mm. RF filtering has been integrated into the package structure: a band-pass filter after the LNA and a harmonic rejection filter after the PA.

Read our article in Microwave Engineering Europe about this design

mmWave SP4T for Switched Beam 5G Systems

PIN diode MMIC processes offer a means of implementing low-loss, high-linearity mmWave switches. The photo to the right shows a Single Pole 4-Throw (SP4T) switch that covers 22 to 32GHz (so encompassing both the 28GHz 5G band licensed by the FCC and the European 26GHz pioneer 5G band). It has an insertion loss of 1dB and is intended for 5G systems requiring switching between multiple antenna beams.

PA MMIC for the 24GHz and 26GHz 5G Bands

The 3-stage PA covers the full 26GHz 5G Pioneer Band (24.25 to 27.5GHz), which encompasses the 24GHz band proposed for auction by the FCC (24.25–24.45 and 24.75–25.25 GHz). It has an integrated, on-chip power detector for monitoring of transmitted RF power, a gain of 22dB and a P-1dB of 26.5dBm at a PAE of just over 30%. It is realised on a commercially available 0.15µm PHEMT process. A dual channel SMT packaged PA has been produced using two PA die in a custom laminate QFN package.

Dual Band mm-wave 5G PA

It is looking increasingly unlikely that a single band will be designated for mmWave 5G on a worldwide basis. This makes the possibility of dual-band or multi-band mmWave components very attractive. PRFI has designed a dual-band power amplifier (PA) MMIC for operation in both the 26GHz 5G pioneer band (24.25 to 27.5 GHz) and the 32GHz band (31.8 to 33.4 GHz) identified by the RSPG as a potential future mmwave 5G band in Europe. A control signal selects the desired operating band and on-chip electronic switching reconfigures the PA accordingly. It uses a 0.15µm gate length pHEMT process and has an output power capability of 1 W at 1dB gain compression (P-1dB) and a small signal gain of 20dB.

Watch a video presentation about this design

SMT Packaged 39GHz PA

This PA covers the 39GHz (38.6 to 40GHz) and 37GHz (37 to 38.6GHz) FCC licensed 5G bands. It is housed in an air-cavity plastic QFN package and offers around 20dB gain with an output referred IP3 of +40dBm across both of the 37GHz and 39GHz 5G bands. This performance measured on a representative evaluation PCB and is referenced to the package ports. The PA includes an on-chip power detector for monitoring the transmit power level.