AES Semigas


4 June 2021

MixComm launches 37-41GHz 5G front-end IC

Fabless semiconductor company MixComm Inc of Chatham, NJ, USA has added to its portfolio of front-end ICs for 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) with the SUMMIT 3741, which operates at frequencies of 37-41GHz and integrates novel power amplifiers (PAs), low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), T/R switching, beam-formers, calibration, gain control, beam table memory, temperature and power telemetry, and high-speed SPI control for a front-end module with optimal partitioning for 5G infrastructure. The device is suitable for Antenna-in-Package (AiP) implementations, as well as conventional chip-on-board integration through the use of interposers.

The SUMMIT 3741 also features enhanced digital integration, uniquely enabled by the 45RFSOI (radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator) process of GlobalFoundries (GF), which is said to have inherent advantages over other semiconductor technologies for mmWave applications.

SUMMIT 3741 product highlights are cited as:

  • four-element dual-polarization TX/RX;
  • independent dual-polarization beam directions;
  • ultra-low TX- and RX-mode power consumption;
  • high-power, high-efficiency stacked SOI CMOS PAs;
  • low-loss T/R switch for TDD support;
  • 6-bit full-360° phase shifting and 0.5dB-step 16dB-range variable gain in each path;
  • fully calibrated for gain/phase matching across ICs;
  • on-chip temperature sensor;
  • gain control for temperature compensation;
  • on-chip power sensor for each TX;
  • operates from 1V, 1.8V and 4V power supplies;
  • 100MHz SPI with 2048-entry on-chip beam table storage;
  • 6-/8-bit chip ID with multiple modes of programming; and
  • flip-chip die with 75μm bump size and 200μm bump pitch.

“5G will continue to push towards the higher mmWave frequency bands, bringing new challenges to conventional approaches,” says co-founder & chief technology officer Dr Harish Krishnaswamy. “With SUMMIT 3741, we are introducing several ‘firsts’ to the market and look forward to working with our customers to push the envelope for 5G mmWave.”

Like the SUMMIT 2629, which has been shipping to customers since fourth-quarter 2020, the SUMMIT 3741 has been designed to address the critical challenges that currently constrain 5G mmWave success, by:

  • extending range to decrease carrier cost and improve customer satisfaction;
  • reducing thermal and electrical power consumption budgets, and
  • optimizing antenna arrays to reduce module cost.

MixComm says that these benefits make its solutions suitable for 5G infrastructure ranging from gNodeB base stations and repeaters to customer premises equipment. The flexible architecture and ultra-low-power operation can also enable 5G hotspots and other user equipment demanding long battery life and sleek form factors.

The SUMMIT 3741 debut follows MixComm’s recent announcements including being the first mmWave company selected to join the 5G Open Innovation Lab and being named the Broadband Innovation of the Year by the 2020 Mobile Breakthrough Awards. MixComm also recently co-hosted the inaugural mmWave Summit with Microwave Journal and was selected by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop next-generation mmWave innovations for 5G and satellite communications.

“When we announced our first product in 2020, we highlighted that no other company has as much mmWave and RFSOI design and product experience,” says MixComm’s CEO Mike Noonen. “This deep experience has resulted in many design wins for the SUMMIT 2629 and now the latest breakthrough product in our portfolio, the SUMMIT 3741.”

The SUMMIT 3741 will be available for sampling in early third-quarter 2021. MixComm is showcasing the SUMMIT 3741 and its other products and technology in booths #1028 and #1221 at the 2021 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Atlanta, GA, USA on 8-9 June.

See related items:

MixComm joins OpenRF Association

MixComm names James Martin VP of business development

Tags: millimeter-wave GLOBALFOUNDRIES SOI