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First commercial 5G NR mmWave antenna modules

Qualcomm Technologies has launched what it claims is the world’s first fully-integrated 5G NR millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz RF modules for mobile devices.

Millimeter wave signals have the capacity to open up more spectrum, but have so far not been used for mobile wireless communications - according to the company - due to the numerous technical challenges posed by them. These include the fact that very few devices are able to generate or receive the signals.

Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated, said: “Qualcomm Technologies’ early investment in 5G has allowed us to deliver to the industry a working mobile mmWave solution that was previously thought unattainable, as well as a fully-integrated sub-6 GHz RF solution.

“These type of modem-to-antenna solutions - spanning both mmWave and sub-6 spectrum bands - make mobile 5G networks and devices, especially smartphones, ready for large scale commercialisation.”

The QTM052 mmWave antenna modules are designed to work in tandem with the company’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem. They support advanced beam forming, beam steering, as well as beam tracking technologies, “drastically improving” the range and reliability of mmWave signals.

They support up to 800 MHz of bandwidth in the 26.5-29.5 GHz range, as well as the entire 27.5-28.35 GHz and 37-40 GHz mmWave bands. Up to four antennas can be incorporated into a single smart device, enabling continued evolution of design on the part of device manufacturers.