mm-wave 5G MMICs

5G communications systems will offer huge increases in data rates and aim to provide a service with seemingly infinite capacity. This will be facilitated by the use of mm-wave frequencies, where large bands of contiguous spectrum can be exploited.

Plextek RFI has designed MMICs and components for mmwave 5G systems operating in most of the prime candidate 5G bands including the FCC licensed 28GHz 5G band (27.5 – 28.35GHz), the 37GHz band (37 – 38.6GHz) and the 39GHz band (38.6 – 40GHz). We have also developed components and MMICs for use in the 26GHz (24.25 to 27.5GHz) band identified by the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG ) as the “Pioneer Band” for 5G in Europe.

Below are examples of some of the mm-wave 5G development work that we have undertaken to date:

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.


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 Broadband. 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.


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. More ...


Dual Band mm-wave 5G PA

Development work is currently underway in many candidate mmwave 5G bands and 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. Plextek RFI 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. More …



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. More …