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Imec spots route to beyond-5G front-end technologies

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 2 minuten

Imec has identified some promising leads for beyond-5G mm-wave front-end technologies. The first functional devices, one type for frequencies above 100 GHz and another for the lower mm-wave bands, show good potential, reports the Leuven research institute.

In 5G, there’s a move away from the congested sub-6 GHz bands to mm-waves, a trend that will likely continue towards even higher frequencies in next generations of wireless communication technologies. Today’s RF front-end technology won’t be able to handle that, however: it wouldn’t be possible to combine the required high speed with high output power.

“To enable the next-generation RF front-end modules beyond 5G, Imec explores scalable CMOS-compatible III-V-on-Si technology,” says Nadine Collaert, program director at Imec. “Imec is looking into co-integration of front-end components – such as power amplifiers and switches – with other CMOS-based circuits – such as control circuitry or transceiver technology – to reduce cost and form factor, and enabling new hybrid circuit topologies to address performance and efficiency.”

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