mmWave. Massive MIMO. Beamforming. Full duplex. Connectors. Connectors? Yes, connectors. Really!
This may seem like a new take on the old childhood game of “One of These Things”. However, all of these technologies (and others) are directly related to developing next-generation 5g antennas and systems.
System designers have been challenged with bringing disparate technologies together for wireless. However, system integration and industry partnerships are now making 5G development easier.
Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC Technology
One of the leaders in system integration is Xilinx. Their groundbreaking Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC technology simplifies the signal chain. What once took many ICs, now takes one.
Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoCs include RF signal chain solutions like RF-DACs, RF-ADCs and RF Clocks. FEC and Arm Cortex subsystems are also included. Integration, lower power, a smaller footprint and the industry’s only single-chip, adaptable radio platform are the end result.
Enabling Modular System Design
While the Zynq RFSoC eases the digital design of 5G, RF is still an analog world. With 5G carrier frequencies ranging from 30 – 300 GHz, a number of RF front ends are required.
The new Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC ZCU111 Evaluation Kit offers a comprehensive RF signal chain protoyping platform. In addition to the RFSoC, it contains expansion connectors for 5G modular system design.
Similar to FMC, the ZCU111 contains a new interface called RFMC (RF Mezzanine Card). Based on Samtec’s LP ArrayTM Low Profile, High-Speed Array system, RFMC connectors are 320 I/O high-speed array connectors for RFMC carriers and daughter cards.
New RFMC daughter cards act as a break-out for RF-ADCs and RF-DACS from the RFSoC device to external test equipment. Fully differential, 50-Ohm length-matched traces are routed via two Samtec LPAM (8×40) connectors to high-precision RF signal chain and connectors
New Avnet RFSoC Development Kit
Avnet is a leader in providing system-level solutions for cutting edge applications. The new Avnet RFSoC Development Kit leverages modularity for 5G signal chain development.
The new kit includes an RFMC daughter card that features 1.8 GHz RF front ends. When combined with popular simulation tools, the kit shortens design cycles by characterizing RF signal chains – RFSoCs, RFICs, connectors, PCBs, antennas – in real-time test environments.
Please visit www.avnet.com/rfsockit for more infomation on the Avnet RFSoC Development Kit.
5G Antennas and Modular System Design: Tying It All Together
There are lots of pieces to the puzzle here. How does it all tie together? Fortunately, technical experts from Avnet and Samtec detail the complete development process with the new kit.
The process is detailed in a new Chalk Talk entitled Avnet and Samtec Enable System-Level Exploration with new RFSoC Kit. Matt Burns from Samtec and Matt Brown from Avnet walk through the process of characterizing the RF signal chain, including connectors.
That one detail – system interconnect – often gets overlooked. However, the ChalkTalk explains how Samtec offers connector-level and channel-level s-parameters that can be used for signal simulation, testing and analysis.
Incorporating s-parameters in simulation software gives designers confidence the kit – and system – performs as advertised.
For more information on Samtec’s complete suite of 5G solutions and how we support 5G antennas, please visit www.samtec.com/5G,