Publication
IMS 2018
Conference paper

A Software-Defined Phased Array Radio with mmWave to Software Vertical Stack Integration for 5G Experimentation

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Abstract

The paper introduces a software-defined phased array radio (SDPAR) operating around the 5G NR frequency band of 28 GHz. The highly re-configurable phased array radio features beam shaping/steering control as well as data TX/RX function control from a single Python-based software interface. High speed phased array control and configuration functions are enabled by extensive on-chip digital circuits co-integrated with mmWave circuit blocks to achieve agile beam-steering and beam-shaping functions. Beams are formed using up to 128 independently controlled phased array elements using RF beamforming for groups of 16 elements, and IF/digital beamforming thereafter. Both TX and RX capabilities are enabled in both H and V polarizations. These functions are accessed through a software stack providing a top level application programming interface (API) for user programmability. The same API also controls the data communication functions with both TX and RX capabilities enabling USRP-GNU radio functions at around 28 GHz frequency. In addition to the hardware platform, this paper presents a software-only SDPAR emulator to enable fast software-only development cycles prior to real-world experiments using the SDPAR hardware. The SDPAR system platform is expected to significantly benefit networking research for mmWave phased array systems, especially targeted toward 5G communications.

Date

17 Aug 2018

Publication

IMS 2018

Authors

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