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Tile-based massively scalable MIMO and phased arrays for 5G/B5G-enabled smart skins and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

Georgia Tech researchers’ “additively manufactured tile-based approach can construct on-demand, massively scalable arrays of 5G+ (5G/Beyond 5G)‐enabled smart skins with the potential to enable intelligence on nearly any surface or object.”

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New technical paper from Georgia Tech.

Abstract

“This work presents a novel tile based approach to constructing, in a modular fashion, massively scalable MIMO and phased arrays for 5G/B5G millimeter-wave smart skins and large-area reconfigurable intelligent surfaces for Smart Cities and IoT applications. A proof-of-concept 29 GHz 32 elements phased array utilizing 2×2 “8-element subarray” tiles was fabricated and measured and demonstrates +/− 30beamsteering capability. The unique benefits of the proposed tile approach utilizes the fact that tiles of identical sizes can be manufactured in large quantities rather than have arrays of multiple sizes serve various user capacity coverage areas. It has to be stressed that the proof-of-concept flexible 2×2 tile array features no performance degradation when it is wrapped around a 3.5 cm radius curvature. This topology can be easily scaled up to massively large arrays by simply adding more tiles and extending the feeding network on the mounting tiling layer. The tiles are assembled onto a single flexible substrate which interconnects the RF, DC and digital traces, allowing for the easy realization of on-demand very large antenna arrays on virtually any practical conformal platform for frequencies up to sub-THz frequency range.”

Find the open access technical paper here and the Georgia Tech news release here. Published Feb. 2022.

He, X., Cui, Y. & Tentzeris, M.M. Tile-based massively scalable MIMO and phased arrays for 5G/B5G-enabled smart skins and reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. Sci Rep 12, 2741 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-06096-9.

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