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Redefining Wireless Transceivers in 5G Connectivity

Case Studies

The path to 5G builds on groundbreaking technologies, transmission methods, and modulation schemes. Making it all work and achieving the future vision of 5G depends on a new generation of transceiver designs. Eridan Communications is a fabless technology company that develops devices and firmware for 5G communications. Its products give wireless communications systems tremendous flexibility in tuning range and communications protocol while maintaining high-efficiency. Eridan created these capabilities in the Eridan MIRACLE transceiver. MIRACLE’s transmitter simultaneously provides a wide tuning range, spectral efficiency, and electrical efficiency. MIRACLE delivers handset or metro-cell power output at any frequency within the UHF/cellular/Wi-Fi domain and with virtually any modulation type. The foundation of MIRACLE’s performance is made possible by power efficient switching circuitry combined with power and accuracy from Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors.

The Challenge: Efficient Use of Power and Spectrum

With exponential demand for faster wireless data rates, the future success of 5G depends on the spectrum and power efficient transmission of large quantities of data through small slices of the available frequency spectrum. As the race to 5G continues to accelerate, the pressure is on device manufacturers to deliver better solutions in less time. Eridan Communications developed a method to solve the spectrum availability problem. The challenge — create 50-plus percent efficient power with an LTE transceiver module. The new design would need to deliver handset or metro-cell power output at any frequency within the UHF/ cellular/Wi-Fi domain and with any modulation type; 5GNR, LTE, W-CDMA, EDGE, GSM, and beyond. Within this framework, it would also have to transfer more data in the available bandwidth without compromising signal quality.

The Solution: Simulating and Characterizing Transceiver Performance

To accelerate the design process, Eridan chose 5G-capable simulation software and measurement tools from Keysight Technologies. Specifically, the solution included the following key elements:

  • Keysight EEsof EDA Advanced Design System (ADS)
  • ADS harmonic balance element
  • ADS circuit envelope element
  • 89600 VSA software

Eridan’s designers used the ADS software to develop a switched-mode transmitter based on galliumnitride (GaN) technology. The circuit envelope element of ADS provided efficient analysis of digitally modulated and RF-transient excitation. The ADS harmonic balance element optimized the steadystate nonlinear analysis. The Eridan team quickly set up simulations to explore design ideas and predict the performance of the module (Figure 1). The 89600 VSA software provided vector signal analysis capabilities that enabled the designers to fully characterize transceiver performance with a variety of modulation schemes including 16K QAM. Because the 89600 VSA software supports a wide range of Keysight measurement instruments, Eridan was able to compare measured versus simulated results, perform a complete analysis of digital modulation, and pinpoint the causes of impairments (Figure 2).

The Results: Delivering Outstanding Data Capacity

Using Keysight ADS and VSA software, Eridan delivered an advanced power transceiver module with revolutionary bandwidth and power efficiency. The MIRACLE provides unprecedented system efficiency and “any signal at any time” flexibility (Figure 3). Eridan used the software to develop its GaN-based switch-mode mixer modulator (SM3) technology. The circuit architecture separately amplifies phase and amplitude before recombining in a single, ultra-efficient With this approach, the transmitter element delivers 3GPP-compliant LTE uplink and downlink performance with an adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) of 47 to 52 dB while maintaining 50 percent power efficiency. The MIRACLE SM3 technology also demonstrated unprecedented spectral efficiency, delivering a 14-bits/symbol, 16K QAM signal with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of more than 40 dB, error vector magnitude (EVM) of below 0.5 percent (Figure 4), while maintaining 50 percent power efficiency. For a given channel, this translates into more than double the volume of data standard signals can provide today, and it exceeds by 75 percent the capacity of future signals designed for 8 bps/Hz.

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