Opportunities for Heterogenous Integration of GaN/RF CMOS in 5G mm-Wave Systems

Future 5G radio access technology is underpinned by wideband spectrum allocations at mm-wave frequencies (24GHz and above). Compared to the traditional radio access bands (below 6GHz) the path loss is much higher and to provide coverage we need to use advanced beamforming in combination with high output power transmitters. The antenna and front-end of these systems bear many similarities to those in active electronically scanned mm-wave radars for military applications (e.g. missile seekers). The main challenge is to build these systems at low cost and in high volumes. In the first part of this talk we will outline the 5G communication specific front-end requirements. In the second part we show how heterogenous integration of GaN and RF CMOS may provide a solution to the problem of building a low-cost high performance mm-wave communication system.