Communication Services

Why Are 5G Phones Different Than 4G

<p>Fifth-generation mobile network deployments are in the initial phase and will work jointly with 4G initially, and then eventually it will be a standalone technology. One of the many differentiators of 5G from 4G is the higher frequency spectrum and larger bandwidth. The use of higher frequencies in 5G leads to more complexity of end devices and built-in chipsets.</p><p>Current wireless networks i.e., 4G, uses the frequencies ranging from 450MHz to 3.7GHz. The smartphones are integrated with the digital part and the RF component part. The digital part includes a modem while the RF component includes a separate RF transceiver and an RF front end module.</p><p>The transceiver consists of a transmit antenna and a receive antenna. The RF front module consists of different components integrated in the same unit. The components included in the RF front end module are power amplifiers (PAs), low noise amplifiers (LNAs), filters and RF switches. PAs are used to power the signal to carry information to the destination. LNAs are used to amplify the weak signals while filtering out the noise and the switches are used to route the signals through different components. Current smartphones are also incorporated with other RF modules such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.</p><p>The smartphone companies e.g., LG, Samsung etc. are currently implementing sub-6GHz frequency which is not mmwave. Therefore, the architecture of the RF front-end module of earlier 5G smartphones will be similar to the 4G devices. However, it is inevitable to move to higher frequencies, i.e., mmwave. These modules will look different in mmwave regime.</p><p>The 5G mmwave phones will have size constraints with the integrated antennas in the package. The overall occupied space and the distance between antennas and RF chips need to be optimized. An analyst with Strategy Analytics says that 4G phones have the transceivers in a package, which is separate from the module containing power amplifiers, filters, switches and frontend modules. The requirements of next-generation networks force the transceiver and antennas to move inside the package, unlike 4G devices.</p><p>Antennas can be developed in a variety of ways for 5G smartphones such as AiP (Antenna in package), AoB (Antenna on board) etc. In 5G mmwave applications, the antenna and ICs are packaged together to minimize connection losses. In AoB, antenna module and ICs are kept separated using an interposer to house both on limited board space [2].</p><p>Recently Qualcomm introduced their chipset Snapdragon 865 for 5G. This chipset is claiming to be the leading 5G AI-based engine which supports the smartphones with its intuitive, intelligent and responsive capabilities to meet the KPIs of 5G. According to [1] Snapdragon 865 achieves multi GB speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps and support all frequency bands including mmWave in FDD and TDD with dynamic spectrum sharing. This engine pack provides double performance to the previous version with maximum efficiency, stunning photography, gaming and voice interactions.</p><p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" /></p><p>The MediaTek has also launched its 5G chipset recently i.e., MediaTeK dimensity 1000 having support to sub-6GHz modem, capable of carrier aggregation, support to data rate up to 4.7 Gbps and claiming power efficient [3]. Dimensity 1000 is claiming to be the world&rsquo;s fastest Sub-6GHz 5G system integrated chip, most power-efficient modem, first dual 5G sim support, Multi-exposure HDR video, Hexa-core AI processor with high performance, blur busting display, fast 4K multimedia and AV1 decoding and incredibly accurate positioning for indoors and outdoors.</p><p>Samsung has also launched Exynos Modem 5100 chipset which also supports 5G NR sub-6GHz and mmWave, supports all accessing schemes, carrier aggregation and 4x4 MIMO, provides 2Gbps downlink speed with sub-6GHz and 6Gbps with mmwave [4].</p><p>With more advancements in 5G technology and the use of mmWave will test the performance of each chipset and more sophisticated hardware has to come. The use of high-performance smartphones with 5G will revolutionize the whole communication networks and industry.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Abdul Hye