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D-Band Radio solution Enabling up to 100 Gbps reconfigurable Approach for Meshed beyond 5G networks

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DREAM (D-Band Radio solution Enabling up to 100 Gbps reconfigurable Approach for Meshed beyond 5G networks)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

Nowadays there is a shared vision among industry, operators and academy that beyond 5G wireless networks will have to provide wideband wireless access and ubiquitous computing anywhere and at any time. The human life of the majority of the EU citizen will be surrounded by intelligent wireless sensors, which will bring radical changes to the way we live and do things. Supporting this scenario is a challenge for network operators and wireless network infrastructures and it will demand a tremendous performance improvement of medium range wireless infrastructure. This challenge needs to be addressed by a convergence of advanced semiconductor nanotechnology and a robust wireless infrastructure meshed network with seamless fiber performances.

The DREAM project, through the exploitation of the radio spectrum in D-band (130-174.8 GHz) with beam steering functionality, will enable wireless links with data rate exceeding current V-band and E-band wireless backhaul solutions by at least a factor of 10 and thus, it will bring wireless systems to the speed of optical systems. The DREAM project vision and objectives rely on a power efficient and silicon based BiCMOS transceiver analog front end, operating in D-band and enabling cost efficient deployment of meshed networks with seamless fiber performance. A beam steering integrated antenna array using an intelligent low-cost packaging technology prototype will be developed for the implementation of the beyond 5G network proof of concept in a realistic environment.

There are 4 main objectives in the project

Objective 1 Demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost SiGe BiCMOS transceiver analog front end enabling link data rate up to 100 Gb/s in D-band. The project targets to enable innovative mmW systems beyond 100 GHz delivering data rate exceeding current V band and E band wireless backhaul solution by at least a factor of 10.

Objective 2 Provide a high capacity backhauling in D-band for future Small Cells access point networks. This enables the challenge of bringing mmW radios to the access points in order to exploit the large bandwidth available and to avoid disruption or environmental impact of fibre optic laying. Fast mobile broadband access with low latency and high speed end-to-end connectivity even at the cell edge (100 Mb/s minimum), will be enabled by the D-band very high throughput inter-small cell backhauling links.

Objective 3 Increase flexibility and cost saving for network operator. Inter-small cell backhauling connections by compact and low cost D-band transceiver, with antenna beam steering option, will enable the network deployment and will bring small cell access point data traffic close to the fiber backbone. Software Defined Network deployed using Centralized Radio Access Network in highly optimized and power efficient data center will be consequently enabled.

Objective 4 Reduction of the cost and power consumption (green radio) of high data rate small cell backhaul/fronthaul links in D-band. The use of D-band radios, directive and beam steering antennas results in a reduced emitted power requirement, more efficient transmitter implementation and a better efficiency of the spectrum usage (since high frequency reuse can be achieved). The project targets to reduce significantly the radios and network power consumption, by moving to low complexity modulation scheme leveraging wide frequency bands available beyond 100 GHz (more than 40 GHz of potential bandwidth around 150 GHz).
During the first year the work in the project has been well progress with regard to project objectives. System arechirecture is created. First system specification and high level sub block specifications are fixed. First designs of all transceiver blocks including a phase shifter and frequency synthesiser are done. Blocks are under fabrication now at ST Microelectronics with 55-nm BiCMOS process. Optimised antenna elements are designed. First test structures on PCB for evaluating performance of key elements of the integration platform are designed.

The dissemination plan has been developed and agreed by partners. An analysis has been performed aimed at identifying distinct communication objectives, target audience, appropriate communication channels, key messages for project promotion and a strategy for knowledge dissemination. An action plan has been also proposed and several promotion initiatives have been already implemented, by the consortium and by each partner individually.

To reach the goals of influencing the regulation and standardization activities in D-band, DREAM has participated in work of standardization groups. The working groups ETSI, ATTM TM4, CEPT ECC WG SE19 and ETSI ISG mWT are the most important for standardization of D band.
As result of DREAM project we will demonstrate the feasibility of a Radio solution in D-Band with beam steering capability that will make possible the backhaul network that can address the needs of beyond 5G mobile networks. For that, untill end of the project we are going to demonstrate a transceiver working in D-Band with integrated antenna array and embedded beam steering capability.

Technical objectives for the transceiver

Capacity between two nodes up to 100 Gb/s
Network and frequency plan allowing at least 3 connections per node
Hop length up to 300 m
Availability > 99.9%
Beam steering capabilities, with +/- 45º steerability
Use of D-band (130-175 GHz), according to ECC recommendations
Adaptive code and modulation (ACM)
Gross system gain up to 140 dB

Our Approach

4x4 MIMO (only 1 stream will be demonstrated)
2-GHz channels, with flexible FDD
Up to 256-QAM modulation (ACM) -> 12.5 Gbps in each direction
Up to 256 antenna elements (a sub-array will be demonstrated)
Integrated on state-of-the-art STMicroelectronics 55-nm BiCMOS technology
Modular and scalable arrangement. A multi-chip solution will be implemented, to make it scalable and minimize risk.
State-of-the-art PCB materials to minimize loss at D-band frequencies

Our ambition is to provide the ideal radio solution, capable, not only to complement the fiber in the backhaul access part of the network, but also to provide additional features, such as “real-time” re-configurability of resources. The features of the backhaul network enabled by this radio solution open the door to future intelligent networks exploiting the paradigms of beyond current 5G mobile network concepts.

The advanced SiGe BiCMOS technologies targeted and made available in this project will enable the design and fabrication of IC featuring performances for beyond 5G network infrastructure components and thus boosting the European industries as ALU-I and ST-I to maintain their worldwide leading edge position in the coming years. Results of DREAM will help to develop SiGe BiCMOS technologies further.

The outputs of the DREAM will include a high gain beam steering antenna array for use in backhauling radio links. The antenna array will feature tight integration of the antennas and RFICs for maximum performance. Currently there exist no commercially available phase shifters for D-band.

The DREAM project aims at maintaining Europe’s leadership in wireless cellular systems by setting the technological and scientific ground in usage of D band frequency range for mobile networks beyond 5G.