A 28-GHz 32-Element TRX Phased-Array IC with Concurrent Dual-Polarized Operation and Orthogonal Phase and Gain Control for 5G Communications

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This paper presents the first reported 28-GHz phased-array IC for 5G communications. Implemented in 130-nm SiGe BiCMOS, the IC includes 32 TRX elements and features concurrent independent beams in two polarizations in either TX or RX operation. Circuit techniques to enable precise beam steering, orthogonal phase and amplitude control at each front end, and independent tapering and beam steering at the array level are presented. A TX/RX switch design is introduced which minimizes TX path loss resulting in 13.5 dBm/16 dBm Op1dB/Psat per front end with >20% peak power added efficiency of the power amplifier (including switch and off-mode LNA) while maintaining a 6 dB noise figure in the low noise amplifier (including switch and off-mode PA). Comprehensive on-wafer measurement results for the IC across multiple samples and temperature variation are presented. A package with four ICs and 64 dual-polarized antennas provides eight 16-element or two 64-element concurrent beams with 1.4°/step beam steering (<0.6° rms error) across a ±50° steering range without requiring calibration. A maximum saturated effective isotropic radiated power of 54 dBm is measured in the broadside direction for each polarization. Tapering control without requiring calibration achieves up to 20-dB sidelobe rejection without affecting the main lobe direction.