Qualcomm and Vivo integrated 28GHz antenna arrays alongside sub-6GHz technology in a single form factor, marking what the pair called a critical milestone in 5G device design.
In a blog post, Qualcomm Technologies VP of engineering Allen Tran said the achievement is significant because mmWave technology presents a number of new challenges for RF designers. Unlike sub-6GHz spectrum, which uses “single-element, low-gain, omni-directional antennas”, he explained mmWave requires “a narrow-beam, high-gain” system with multiple antenna elements.
While sub-6GHz frequencies will be key for broad network coverage, mmWave spectrum will also be necessary to supply the massive bandwidth which will allow 5G networks to deliver peak speeds up to 20-times faster than today’s 4G speeds.
Tran said the companies spent months perfecting a design which allowed the two technologies to coexist in one device. He added the pair verified the model with a series of performance tests designed to check for interference and attenuation.
Huan-Chu Huang, Vivo’s antenna technical director, said in a statement the breakthrough “will contribute to creating optimal devices for end users”.
“After this successful completion of 5G mmWave antenna design and measurement based on a Vivo commercial form factor, consumers will soon see the next round of new device designs offering superior performance benefits and a taste of the next generation mobile experience.”