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Fujitsu Develops Advanced 5G Millimetre-Wave Chip For Radio Units

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Fujitsu Develops Advanced 5G Millimetre-Wave Chip For Radio Units

Multibeam multiplexing technology facilitates communications at speeds exceeding 10Gbps, boosting capacity and cutting power usage by 30%.

Comparison image of RU using a conventional millimeter-wave chip and RU applying this technology
Comparison image of RU using a conventional millimeter-wave chip and RU applying this technology

With conventional technologies, a single millimetre-wave chip produces just one beam, leading to bulkier Radio Units (RUs) and a rise in power usage.

Fujitsu Limited has announced a new millimetre-wave chip for 5G that can support multibeam multiplexing (sans polarisation multiplexing), allowing a single chip to multiplex up to four beams for the RU in 5G base stations. This innovation results from the “Research and Development Project for Enhanced Post-5G Communication Systems Infrastructure”, sponsored by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). 

When applied to real base stations using the new technology, the company has shown the capability to attain communications speeds of 10Gbps or higher while occupying only half the space of a standard RU. This approach uses fewer millimetre-wave chips, resulting in a 30% reduction in energy usage per RU.

Project Background

5G network technologies aim to harness the millimetre-wave band to boost speed and capacity. Despite the advantages in communication speed and capacity, higher-frequency radio waves, including millimetre waves, can easily be obstructed by barriers, hindering long-distance communication. One solution is to populate an area with multiple radio base stations densely. This presents its challenges, like shrinking the size of RUs, conserving energy, and cutting costs. The company claims to tackle these issues, enhancing RU performance through a project spearheaded by NEDO. This initiative focused on crafting systems that bolster 5G support. The team’s efforts resulted in a breakthrough technology capable of multiplexing multiple beams on a single chip via millimetre-wave beamforming. This means an RU can now offer four times the speed and greater capacity than its conventional counterpart of equal size, all while bringing about significant energy and cost savings.

Future Plans

The goal is to facilitate the global adoption of millimetre-wave technology and promote sustainability in the telecommunications sector. The beam multiplexing technology will be incorporated into base station (CU/DU) products, set to be available globally by 2025. Beyond reducing the carbon footprint of telecom carriers and various commercial stakeholders, Fujitsu remains committed to pioneering technological advancements in the network sector and fostering the swift rollout of cutting-edge communication infrastructure.