Fujitsu Limited announced the development of a new millimeter-wave chip for 5G that supports multibeam multiplexing (excluding polarization multiplexing) enabling up to four beams to be multiplexed by a single millimeter-wave chip for the radio units (RU) of 5G base stations. The development was undertaken as part of the “Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G, Information and Communication Systems” commissioned by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
With conventional technologies, a single millimeter-wave chip is used to generate a single beam, resulting in larger RUs and increased power consumption. When the newly developed technology is applied to actual base stations, Fujitsu demonstrated that it is possible to achieve high speed and high capacity communications of 10Gbps or more with a half the size of a conventional RU. This allows for systems with fewer millimeter-wave chips, which ultimately leads to reductions in power consumption per RU by 30%.
5G network technologies are expected to achieve higher speeds and capacity by effectively utilizing wireless resources in the millimeter-wave band. While this approach offers the potential to significantly improve communications speed and capacity, millimeter and other high-frequency radio waves tend to be blocked by obstacles, making it difficult to communicate between great distances. One possible approach to resolving this challenge includes covering one area with a larger number of radio base stations, which would help address issues such as the need to miniaturize RUs, energy savings, and cost reductions. To address these challenges, from June 2020 to June 2023, Fujitsu Limited worked to develop technologies that enhance the performance of RU under a project initiated by NEDO, which can be used in information and communications systems that support 5G. Fujitsu’s research resulted in the development of a technology that enables multiple beam multiplexing on a single chip through millimeter-wave beamforming, making it possible to deliver four times the speed and larger capacity than a conventional RU of the same size to deliver significant energy and cost reductions.
Kicking off development of base station hardware equipped with this technology from August 2023, Fujitsu aims to begin commercial deployment of RUs using the technology globally in fiscal 2024, and contribute to the spread of millimeter-wave in the global market and decarbonization of the telecommunications industry. Subsequently, the beam multiplexing technology will be applied to base station (CU/DU) products, and will be offered globally in fiscal 2025. In addition to contributing to the reduction of the carbon footprint of telecommunications carriers and other commercial users, Fujitsu will continue to develop technologies to advance the network industry and contribute to the rapid deployment of next-generation communications infrastructure.