Hardware-Software Co-integration for Configurable 5G mmWave Systems
Directional communication systems based on millimeter-wave phased arrays have reached a significant level of maturity and have entered the commercial space for 5G networks. In order to realize their full potential, Si -based phased arrays must be integrated efficiently at the system level with digital control electronics, firmware, and software. This paper describes key architecture approaches for such vertical integration from digital-RF co-integration in the IC to API definition in software. The important benefits of low-latency and versatile control of beam forming and radio functions from high-level APIs is illustrated with application examples at 28 GHz including directional channel sounding, spatio-temporal beamforming, and 3D imaging.