Introduction To The NI mmWave Transceiver System Hardware

Real-time mmWave prototyping enables engineers and researchers to quickly prototype mmWave systems.


Wireless technology is everywhere. Every day more and more new wireless devices are being created and accessing today’s wireless networks, consuming more and more data. The number of new wireless devices continues to escalate and the amount of data consumed continues to grow at an exponential rate. In order to address the demand, new wireless technologies are being investigated to evolve the existing wireless infrastructure. To that end, the world’s wireless standardization bodies have begun the arduous task of defining the next generation wireless systems commonly known as 5G. The 5G charter includes three specific use cases: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC), and Ultra Reliable Machine Type Communication (uRMTC).

These three different use cases can be mapped to different requirements, like an emphasis on peak data rate for the eMBB and latency for the uRMTC. Because of all of the different requirements, one specific technology won’t be able to address all of the requirements, rather 5G will be a combination of new technologies. For the eMBB case specifically, researchers must increase the peak data rates by 100x over 4G with very limited “available” spectrum below 6 GHz. Data rates are empirically linked to spectrum availability according to the Shannon Hartley theorem which states that capacity is a function of bandwidth (ie spectrum) and channel noise. Because spectrum below 6 GHz is almost fully allocated, researchers must explore spectrum above 6 GHz and into the mmWave range to address eMBB use case.

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