WiFi Evolves For The IoT


WiFi is everywhere, and it’s the most prevalent of the communication protocols that use unlicensed spectrum. But as a common protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT), it faces challenges both because of congestion and the amount of energy it consumes. Two new approaches aim to address those concerns. One is to use multiple channels at once. The second involves the new 802.11 ah HaLow stan... » read more

Running With O-RAN


5G standards are opening the world of hardware development to anyone that can build the best, cost-effective products. At the heart of many of those products is the system on a chip (SoC) that needs to be verified within the context of the overall system. Many new companies are in 5G chip development now, delivering custom solutions that match the many configurations need for different rural an... » read more

What’s After PAM-4?


[This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part 1 can be found here.] The future of high-speed physical signaling is uncertain. While PAM-4 remains one of the key standards today, there is widespread debate about whether PAM-8 will succeed it. This has an impact on everything from where the next bottlenecks are likely to emerge and the best approaches to solving them, to how chips, systems and p... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Nov. 25


Rigid or flexible in one device Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Daejeon, University of Colorado Boulder, Washington University in St. Louis, Cornell University, and Georgia Institute of Technology proposed a system that would allow electronics to transform from stiff devices to flexib... » read more

Should We Even Be Talking About 6G?


Friends and coworkers have been sending me a lot of articles lately about 6G, with snappy headlines that seem to suggest that 5G is already a thing of the past. As a marketing manager working on cellular technology, they want to know what I think. On the one hand, I’m excited to see that the hype surrounding 5G is shining a spotlight on wireless communications research and that visionaries ar... » read more

5G Needs Cohesive Pre- And Post-Silicon Verification


While 5G doesn’t start from a clean slate, it does make significant changes to the 4G architecture. These changes mean that the ecosystem from chips to operators is evolving, giving opportunities to more companies to engage in this growing market. Realignment in fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul In particular, the radio access network (RAN) has been redefined as Cloud RAN (sometimes called ... » read more

High-Performance DSP And Control Processing For Complex 5G Requirements


In the early 2000s, digital signal processors (DSP) were simple in architecture and limited in performance, but complex in programming. However, they evolved to meet of the increased performance requirements of 3G cellular baseband modem applications. A typical 3G modem system would have a single DSP optimized for dual/quad SIMD MAC performance with basic DSP filter instructions like Fast Fouri... » read more

5G OTA Test Not Ready For Production


5G is poised to dominate the wireless world, but over-the-air (OTA) testing of 5G beamforming antennas is still not ready for volume production. Beamforming is a critical element in the millimeter wave version of 5G, because of the limitations of ultra-high-frequency signals. Unlike 4G and its predecessors, millimeter wave technology will not penetrate objects, so signals need to be directed... » read more

Gearing Up For 5G


5G has been touted as the new enabler for many market segments, including mobile phones, automotive, virtual reality, and IoT. But there are many questions and much speculation about when and how this new wireless standard will impact different market segments and what effect it will have on semiconductor design. With a promise of orders of magnitude improvement in communication speed an... » read more

Affordable Design With Wireless Microcontrollers


Today, we are at the peak of technology product availability with the releases of the new iPhone models, Alexa-enabled devices, and more. In the coming days, there will be numerous international consumer OEMs preparing new offerings as we approach the holiday selling season. Along with the smartphones, voice assistant enabled smart speakers and deep learning wireless security cameras, many devi... » read more

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