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  • Satellite Evolution

C-COM phased array technology is contributing to 5G innovation

5G promises to deliver significantly faster wireless connectivity that will enable technologies such as autonomous driving, telemedicine and VR applications and NXP is working on a collaborative innovation project to create a flexible building-block component for 5G antenna arrays that will help make them easier and more cost-effective to deploy, thereby opening more doors for people to experience its benefits.

Together with academic institutions, industrial partners and SMEs from the Netherlands and Canada, the project called HEFPA (Highly Efficient and Flexible Phased Array technology) began on July 1, 2021 and is concentrating on 5G Frequency Range 2 (that includes frequency bands from 24.25 GHz to 52.6 GHz) as well as SatCom antenna arrays.

The goal? To create less complex and quicker-to-implement components for the phase array antenna systems on which 5G ‘New Radio’ wireless connectivity is based. These components leverage millimeter wave RF (mmW) to enable high bandwidth transmission and overcome signal loss, and their compact modular form factor could reduce energy consumption by 30 percent.

This innovation will open more doors for application opportunities for developers, and more ways for users to experience the higher data throughput and security of 5G. As an example, worldwide access to 5G will be enabled, even in remote areas (blank zones) where connectivity is currently limited. Further, HEFPA provides solutions to the aviation application field of drone communication to enable secure and reliable unmanned aerial vehicle UAV tracking.

The NXP HEFPA team is located in Nijmegen (Netherlands) and benefits from the support of the Caen team in France, and they’re partnering with Carleton University (Canada), C-COM Satellite Systems (Canada), Skyworks Solutions Canada (Canada),University of Waterloo (Canada), Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) and ItoM (Netherlands). The HEFPA project is funded by the PENTA-Programme under Project number 19011. PENTA is a EUREKA Cluster operated by AENEAS, an industry association promoting RD&I in Electronic Components & Systems to strengthen European competitiveness.

HEFPA is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2023, though for NXP it’s just the next step in our ongoing journey to help increase the number of users on faster networks benefitting from the development of more intelligent agency from their devices or, as we call the concept broadly, 'a world that anticipates and automates.'

A key to enabling that world will be opening more doors and leveraging high data throughout and secure connectivity.

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