Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced that it has developed what is believed to be the world’s first GaN power amplifier that achieves a frequency range of 3400 MHz. Using a single for 4G, 5G, and Beyond 5G/6G communication systems operating at different frequencies in a single base station. The amplifier is expected to enable the radio unit (transceiver) to be shared for different communication systems and lead to more power-efficient base stations. Technical details will be presented at the IEEE International Microwave Symposium 2023 this month.
Key highlights include:
- A novel frequency-compensated circuit for wideband operation — frequency range expanded to 3400MHz, six times that of a power amplifier released by the company on January 12, 2017, thanks to a novel frequency-compensated circuit for switching communication modes according to the frequency.
- The first successful deployment of a single amplifier for 4G, 5G and Beyond 5G/6G communication systems operating at different frequencies.
- Expanded bandwidth covering diverse frequencies is expected to enable the base station’s radio unit (transceiver) to be shared for multiple communication systems.
- The amplifier uses high-performance GaN devices that achieve industry-leading power efficiency significantly reducing base-station power consumption.
- Maximum power efficiency of 62% in the frequency range of 3400 MHz exceeds the level required
for Beyond 5G/6G to realize power-efficient base stations.
In order to advance wireless communications, 5G was launched in 2020 and the transition to Beyond 5G/6G is anticipated to start in around 2030. To enable a smooth transition to Beyond 5G/6G, base stations must be capable of supporting new communications infrastructure. Currently, power amplifiers are developed individually for specific frequency bands handled by each type of base station. However, in the future base stations, it is expected that radio units will be shared to save space and lower maintenance/operation costs as well to accommodate ultra-wide bandwidth covering various frequency bands. In addition, Beyond 5G/6G requires the highly dense arrangement of mMIMO antennas to enable massive simultaneous connections. Consequently, it is necessary to use components that are very small and power amplifiers that are very efficient in order to avoid problems with heat dissipation.