Arctic chipsets enable massive MIMO platforms by lowering RF hardware development complexity and cost. This is due to the chipsets’ extreme level of integration, low power consumption, and superior performance. With the increased demand both in terms of traffic and service quality, particularly in dense networks, massive MIMO platforms are in high demand while cost and power efficiency are the critical bottlenecks in their deployment.
best-in-class RF chipsets
With the high data rate requirements of modern-day communication systems, 5G massive MIMO in sub-6 frequencies is the technology of choice in many scenarios. Ultra-low latency and high reliability demands of mission critical applications such as industrial plants, infrastructure monitoring, and traffic automation means spectral efficiency of radio systems needs to be improved. Specifically in dense areas and with a high number of subscribers, 4G users experience challenges due to congestion. Massive MIMO can take advantage of spatial domain and improve coverage and capacity in larger bandwidth of the mid-band (between 2GHz-4GHz) in all the above cases. To utilize massive MIMO technology in such applications, the solutions must also meet deployment constraints including ease of installation as well as cost and energy efficiency.
Arctic Semiconductor offers an extremely low-power RF transceiver with digital interface compatible with many well-known modem offerings in the market targeting massive MIMO applications. These best-in-class RF chipsets enable device makers and manufacturers to develop cost-effective solutions by not only lowering power consumption at a component level, but also including advanced features such as digital processing of samples prior to modem demodulation and including digital pre-distortion of power amplifiers all in one chipset. The multi-band features and excellent signal quality benefits of Arctic products enable solution providers to deploy massive MIMO radio equipment at scale and attain desired performance for such use cases.
What is Massive MIMO?
Massive MIMO is based on equipping base stations with a large number of antenna arrays (32, 64, 128, etc.) to utilize the spatial domain and increase both capacity and coverage of the network. In a massive MIMO application, the base station determines the channel by using channel estimates obtained from uplink pilots sent by terminals, allowing scalability with the number of antennas. Base stations are designed to work independently and do not exchange payload data or channel information with other cells.
Massive MIMO enhances mobile network performance in terms of coverage, capacity, and user speed by utilizing the spatial domain and complex algorithms. This is done through:
- Beamforming, which enhances signal quality by directing power.
- MIMO (spatial multiplexing), which boosts data rates with multiple parallel data streams.
In practice, high-traffic areas need massive MIMO radios with large bandwidth and MU-MIMO capacity. High-rise buildings benefit from beamforming in the vertical domain, while areas with large inter-site distance require radios with high EIRP to maintain coverage.
How is Arctic changing the game?
To achieve the goals of massive MIMO technology with a diverse set of techniques, RF transceivers play a crucial role in terms of overall system performance. Not only is high bandwidth support in mid-band frequencies with high order modulations (256 and 1024 QAM) a must, but the power and cost constraints of such systems make the transceiver a pivotal part of the system.
By offering SnowWings, Arctic Semiconductor is addressing one of the biggest problems for scalable massive MIMO deployment – availability of a low-power transceiver with a digital interface to baseband modem and added digital signal processing functions. SnowWIngs has 70% lower power consumption than comparable solutions while it includes patented technology both in terms of transmit and receive path architecture. This product is targeting multiple applications in communication systems, however its value proposition in massive MIMO applications is distinct.