Infineon Mai Zhengqi: RF equipment and test solutions will help 5G network construction

With the development and application of technologies such as 5G communication, Internet of Things, and autonomous driving, radio frequency and microwave, as the key technologies, have also developed rapidly, and their applications have shown an explosive growth trend. In order to comprehensively and systematically introduce the latest research results in the field of radio frequency and microwave, Display the latest technologies and products in the field of radio frequency and microwave, and promote the exchange of industry, academia, research and application in the field of radio frequency and microwave, “Electronic Technology Application” magazine, “Information Technology and Network Security” magazine, ChinaAET will hold the “RF Microwave Theme Promotion Season” event from July to September 2020 to comprehensively introduce the academic research results, latest technologies and industry trends, new products and applications in the field of RF microwave.

Infineon has more than ten years of experience and unique technology in the RF field. Recently, Mr. Mai Zhengqi, Director of the RF and Sensors Department of Infineon’s Power and Sensing Systems Division Greater China, accepted an exclusive interview with “electronic Technology Application” and introduced This paper introduces Infineon’s products and applications in the field of RF microwave, and analyzes the opportunities and challenges, application trends and market development in the field of RF microwave.

Mai Zhengqi, Director of RF and Sensors, Greater China, Power and Sensing Systems Division, Infineon

(1) Please briefly introduce, which products and application areas your company mainly focuses on in the field of RF microwave? What is your company’s performance in the RF microwave field in 2020?

Mai Zhengqi:Infineon has accumulated rich experience in the RF field for more than ten years, providing customers with RF solutions with system advantages, such as high-speed data, RF sensitivity, energy consumption and cost solutions. Infineon’s RF discrete devices provide satisfactory system performance for consumer electronics and emerging wireless fields, such as: Infineon’s RF transistors have been widely used in low frequency (up to 5 GHz) and medium frequency (up to 14 GHz) )application. The Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) product family is suitable for devices in traditional RF applications (AM to VHF/UHF products) as well as in the consumer sector (eg cable TV and tuners) and emerging industrial sectors for wireless applications. In addition to low-noise amplifiers, many types of RF switches and antenna-centric devices serve mobile applications such as smartphones or other battery-operated systems, extending the battery life of mobile devices. In addition, Infineon’s RF power devices can be used not only in the construction of cellular facilities, but also in radar applications such as avionics.

(2) Please talk about your analysis of the market situation and future development prospects of the RF microwave field? What are the driving forces for future development? Which market segments are expected to grow rapidly?

Mai Zhengqi:Microwave provides bandwidth and throughput that is unmatched below 6GHz. Coupled with ultra-low latency, this provides important elements and channels for the transformation of industrial manufacturing.

(3) What are the main technology and product development trends in the RF microwave field? What impact will new materials and new processes have on the field? Could you please tell us about your analysis of future developments in this area?

Mai Zhengqi:The main technologies in microwave are beamforming and massive MIMO, which provides greater signal strength and coverage. We see massive MIMO moving towards more transmit and receive channels to include more end-device connections and more integrated chips.

(4) What challenges does the millimeter wave technology and application pose to the RF microwave field? Trends in the field? What unique technologies and solutions does your company have in this field?

Mai Zhengqi:The current 5G network is constantly evolving. In the future, in this 5G application field, the application scenarios of millimeter waves will be very extensive and flexible, mainly for areas where network operators have intensive data communication, such as large stadiums, airports, shopping centers and business centers. Increase data capacity and peak rates. Another application is for high data rate and ultra-low latency connections required by factories. Currently, we are developing a new generation of chips in the 5G mmWave band, using BiCMOS technology to integrate power amplifier (PA), low noise amplifier (LNA), phase control and digital interface to balance RF performance and integration.

(5) In the field of RF microwave, how is the development of Chinese local manufacturers? In which areas are there greater opportunities for development?

Mai Zhengqi:5G is the main pillar project of “new infrastructure”.In the next few years, a series of RF equipment and test solutions will help 5G network construction. In addition, emerging industrial fields, consumer electronics, and automobiles also have greater development opportunities.

Communication – Terminal

(6) What new requirements and challenges does 5G bring to the design of the RF part of communication terminals?

Mai Zhengqi:In the antenna part, due to the new 5G frequency band, MIMO and carrier attack, the number of antennas increases and the size decreases, which affects the antenna efficiency and bandwidth, so there must be a solution to compensate the antenna performance. Aperture tuning can improve transmit and receive performance. therefore,Aperture tuning devices are now commonly used in conjunction with antennas. Depending on the respective frequency band of the antenna, one or more aperture tuning means are implemented.

(7) What main technologies and solutions does your company have in this field? What are the advantages?

Mai Zhengqi:Infineon’s antenna tuning switches have good Ron and Coff, as well as a wide range of options, enabling designers to choose from accessories to performance requirements. In addition to antenna tuning elements, LNAs with excellent noise figure and adequate power handling will also improve reception performance.

Communications – Infrastructure

(8) What new opportunities does the new infrastructure bring to the RF microwave field? Which product categories will benefit?

Mai Zhengqi:5G will be deployed in the 3.5GHz mid-band and high-frequency millimeter-wave bands, which means that 5G will bring higher bandwidth, and 5G operators can obtain channel bandwidths from 40MHz to 100MHz. Higher bandwidth requires semiconductor devices with higher power density (small package, high efficiency) and high output impedance to support broadband usage and reduce heat dissipation in wireless devices.And as the spectrum expands to higher frequency bands from 3.5GHz to mmWave, this also brings higher path loss, whileMassive MIMO with beamforming enhances signal strength and extends the coverage of the signal. These categories of products will play a role in the construction of 5G base stations.

(9) What new technical challenges does the construction of 5G base stations pose to the RF microwave field?

Mai Zhengqi:First of all, in the 5G millimeter-wave mobile communication system, since the loss and interference in the electronic circuit board are in the high-frequency millimeter-wave frequency band, it is necessary to reduce the number of components and use highly integrated semiconductor devices in the circuit board design. In addition, with the improvement of 5G signal transmission energy, the total power consumption of equipment will be much higher than that in the 4G era. Therefore, the efficiency and power density of 5G equipment power management also have higher requirements than the 4G era, and the production technology of new power semiconductor devices such as gallium nitride will also receive attention.With the advent of 5G, there will be an explosion of massive information and high-speed transmission in the future, which means that the power consumption of RF and baseband processors in base stations will also increase, and high-reliability multi-phase power solutions are a new industry trend.

(10) What main technologies and solutions does your company have in the field of communication infrastructure? What are the advantages?

Mai Zhengqi:With the advent of the 5G era, China will usher in the peak period of 5G base station construction, and the market has broad prospects.Infineon has advanced semiconductor technology and an excellent team of engineers, which will accelerate the 5G market layout and help the construction of 5G base stations in China. Infineon is developing products with large bandwidth (2.3GHz-2.7GHz, 3.3GHz-4.2GHz), good power level and low noise figure to meet the needs of system developers for product design Products required by the operator. In baseband and RF equipment, Infineon’s highly integrated single-phase and multi-phase power management solutions can efficiently improve energy density and reliability of telecom equipment. Infineon is currently developing a next-generation millimeter-wave beamformer and is also developing a sub-6GHz low-noise amplifier, which is planned to be available in 2021.

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