MWC 2014: InterDigital and imec team up for millimetre small cell backhaul technology

Collaboration is designed to develop cost-effective phased array technology for 5G-ready backhaul solutions

MWC 2014: InterDigital and imec team up for millimetre small cell backhaul technology

InterDigital, a wireless research and development company, and nano-electronics research center imec, announced an agreement to develop 60 GHz millimeter wave (mmW) radio and phased array technology for small cell backhaul and 5G wireless communications at MWC 2014.

The technology will enable easier deployments for small cell mobile backhaul resulting in lower cost solutions for high-speed data delivery.

Imec will work with InterDigital’s 5G research team to develop a high gain, wideband radio and phased array antenna with fast electrical steering in azimuth and elevation.

This fourth generation of imec’s phased array antenna technology will be combined with InterDigital’s directional mesh backhaul and 5G access link technologies on InterDigital’s mmW Hotspot Demonstration Platform. The platform is being designed for gigabit per second rates across small cell backhaul radio links.

Existing mmW solutions for backhaul are fixed point-to-point, resulting in costly installation expenses for installers to align links, and capital expenditures for additional radios for each connection.

InterDigital and imec will provide radio and phased array technologies to combine the high gain needed to close mmW links with the rapid beam steering that enables reliable and cost-effective mesh network small cell backhaul solutions.

'Phased array antennas are a cornerstone to mmW wireless evolution and we are very excited to be collaborating with imec’s world-renowned research team. I’m confident that their mmW technology, and the expertise of their researchers, will be a great complement to InterDigital’s 5G development projects,' said Doug Castor, Principal Engineer, InterDigital Labs.

'Imec’s R&D on 60GHz phased-array radios has resulted in small CMOS-based solutions with record low power consumption for 802.11ad/WiGiG. Our collaboration with InterDigital builds on our established technology track record and reflects the value of our expertise.

'Together, we aim at leveraging our expertise for outdoor backhaul solutions,' stated Liesbet Van der Perre, program director, wireless communication at imec. 'This collaboration is a reinforcement of our strategy to bring attractive implementations for 5G terminals and networks to the industry.'

InterDigital and imec completed a successful millimeter wave backhaul feasibility study in 2013. The new agreement represents InterDigital’s continuing collaboration in 5G with internationally recognised industry and university partners.

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