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IBM and Ericsson’s 5G Breakthrough Will Move IoT Forward


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IBM and Ericsson have announced a research breakthrough that could accelerate the launch of 5G communications networks and support new mobile enterprise and user experiences enabled by very high data rates, including the Internet of Things (IoT), connected vehicles, and immersive virtual reality.

The companies created a compact silicon-based millimeterWave (mmWave) phased array integrated circuit operating at 28GHz that has been demonstrated in a phased array antenna module designed for use in future 5G base stations.

More countries and governments are opening up new frequency portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, including portions known as millimeter wave bands, which are more than 10 times higher than the frequencies currently used for current mobile devices, offering a new source of bandwidth for cellular networks that are being made available for 5G networks.

Scientists at IBM Research and Ericsson reached their breakthrough as a result of a two year collaboration that set out to develop phased array antenna designs for 5G. IBM’s expertise in highly integrated phased array mmWave IC and antenna-in-package solutions, together with Ericsson’s expertise in circuit and system design for mobile communications, helped the team reach several new technological milestones.

“The development of this 5G millimeterWave phased array is an important breakthrough, not just because of its compact size and low cost, which make it a very commercially attractive solution for network equipment companies and operators, but its potential to unleash and inspire brand new ideas and innovations we haven't yet imagined, thanks to a fully networked society,” said Dr. Dario Gil, vice president of science and solutions for IBM Research.

The first release of the 3GPP 5G specification is targeted to be ready by 2017/2018, but there has already been much progress in the industry with field tests and demonstrations of new user experiences and capabilities made possible by the higher bandwidth, lower latency, greater density and lower energy requirements of 5G networks.

5G is expected to support data rates exceeding 10Gbps in certain scenarios. New capabilities are designed to allow users to download a full-length HD movie in seconds, provide very high bandwidth and uninterrupted live streaming experiences in highly dense environments such as sports or concert venues, experience ‘life-like’ response times to enable remote surgery or fully immersive virtual reality experiences, as well as see battery life of 10 years for remote cellular devices that may be part of IoT environments.

For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/research.

For more details on Ericsson, visit www.ericsson.com.


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