5G, Beamforming, & MIMO – #39

EEs Talk Tech - An Electrical Engineering Podcast
EEs Talk Tech - An Electrical Engineering Podcast
5G, Beamforming, & MIMO - #39

5G means business. With wired speeds coming in over the air, designers are turning to new wireless techniques like beamforming, MIMO, and advanced tower synchonization designed to pump you full of bits. Find out more as Daniel Bogdanoff sits down with Brig Asay and Joe Haver to discuss the changing wireless ecosystem of tomorrow.




4G was sub 6 GHz, but 5G is much higher frequencies (24 GHz, 28 GHz, 39 GHz, and above 50 GHz)

4G test strategies: simple source and a middle-of-the-line signal analyzer. There were also some combo boxes that were both signal sources and signal analyzers.

5G testing requires more powerful setups. There are still generators, but they have to be more powerful. FR2, 100 MHz, 200 MHz, 400 MHz wide bands make things more complicated.

Chambers and OTA (over the air) testing and MIMO systems make things much more complicated.

And, a 5G system has to cover all of these ranges.

MIMO for 5G – MIMO means “Multiple Input Multiple Output”

Beamforming is also being implemented. Designers need to be able to test and see all the 5G signals at once.

7:00 Beamforming explanation and discussion – essentially beams can be directed with constructive and destructive interference to send signals to UEs (user equipment).

5G beamforming significantly increases the power delivered to a UE. Want to try it? Try “Build a beam” here: https://www.keysight.com/main/editorial.jspx?cc=US&lc=eng&ckey=2800374

5G brings wired-level speeds to wireless systems, which will open up brand new markets that haven’t even been defined yet.

5G security

Are 5G bandwidths a challenge? A wider carrier channel means more interference and a lower effective number of bits / SNR (signal to noise ratio). So, the wide 5G bands require a more robust design. This is especially true for distance.

Even windows are potentially a challenge with 5G frequencies, so beamforming becomes critical.

Testing 5G with a signal analyzer / spectrum analyzer – is it doable? Sorta… How do you look at four distinct bands at one time?

The UXR oscilloscope can actually look at multiple bands at once at 0.5 EVM (error vector magnitude).

Why does 5G have so many different frequencies and bands? Isn’t that excessive?

Will 5G make it where I can get rid of my home internet provider?

Beamforming from a cell tower is pretty easy, but it’s much harder for a handset. So, there are systems that propose 5G downlinks, but 4G or 3G back up to the tower.

Multiple towers can talk to the same handset AT THE SAME TIME! Multiple towers can provide the same packet at the same time to the same UE to increase the power. This means they are all working on the same clock as well.

There are a number of ways to synchronize multiple cell towers at the same time. GPS is common, but there are a number of other feasible technologies.

Brig has to get in his “vicious Keysight plug” for the mmWave extension on the UXR that lets an oscilloscope behave like a signal analyzer. It also uses a 1mm connector on the front end.

Stupid question: if you had to describe 5G using five words that start with “G” what would they be?

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