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Antenna technology for 5G systems
Apr 24, 2018

This includes the design of a single antenna as well as system-level technologies, mentioned at the system level above, such as multi-beam, beamforming, active antenna array, Massive MIMO, etc.

From the perspective of specific antenna design, the technology developed based on the concept of metamaterials will be of great benefit. Currently, metamaterials have achieved success in 3G and 4G, such as achieving miniaturization, low profile, high gain, and frequency bands.

The second is a substrate or package integrated antenna. These antennas are mainly used in relatively high frequency bands, that is, millimeter wave bands. Although the antenna size of the high frequency band is small, the loss of the antenna itself is very large, so it is preferable to integrate the antenna with the substrate or a smaller package at the terminal.

The third is an electromagnetic lens. The lens is mainly used in high frequency bands. When the wavelength is very small, putting a medium can go to focus. The high frequency antenna is not very large, but the wavelength of the microwave is very long, which makes the lens difficult to use. It will be great.

The fourth is the application of MEMS. When the frequency is very low, MEMS can be used as a switch. In a mobile terminal, if an antenna can be effectively controlled and reconstructed, an antenna can be used for multiple purposes.

Taking an electromagnetic lens as an example, this design introduces the concept of placing an electromagnetic lens in front of a multi-element antenna array (herein a lens applied to the low-end frequency band of microwave or millimeter wave, unlike a conventional optical lens) when light When incident from a certain angle, a spot is created on a focal plane, and a large amount of power is concentrated on the spot, which means that the entire part of the capacity is received in a very small area.

When the incident direction changes, the spot's position on the focal plane also changes. As shown above, when the angle is projected, a black color energy distribution is generated. If it is incident at a certain angle θ (red color), the main energy deviates from the black color region.

This concept can be used to distinguish where the energy comes from. The direction of the incident and the energy on the array or the focal plane are in a one-to-one correspondence. Conversely, stimulating the antenna in different positions will cause the antenna to radiate in different directions. This is a one-to-one correspondence.

If multiple units are used to radiate in the focal plane, multiple carrier beam radiations can be generated, that is, so-called beamforming; if the switching between these beams occurs, beam scanning occurs; if these antennas are used simultaneously, Massive MIMO can be achieved. This array can be large, but high gain radiation can be achieved with very few arrays per beam.

If an ordinary array has the same size, the energy received every time is that all units must receive energy in this area. If only a single unit is received in a large area, the received energy is only a very small part; and The difference of the array is that the same caliber can receive all the energy with only a few units without any loss. Different angles come in, and these energy can be received by different places at the same time.

This greatly simplifies the entire system. If there is only one direction for each job, only a partial antenna can work, which reduces the number of simultaneous antennas. The concept of the sub-array is different, it is to make the local multi-antenna form a sub-array, this time the number of channels decreases with the increase of the number of sub-array units. For example, a 10×10 array, if it becomes a subarray with 5×5, then it becomes only four independent channels, and the entire number of channels is reduced.


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