5G and FPGAs
I don’t think there is anyone on the planet that hasn’t heard about 5G wireless technology and how it is going to change the world. While there is considerable hype around 5G, and it will likely take longer to develop than pundits predict; there isn’t any doubt that its impact will be significant. In its basic form, 5G is simply the next generation of mobile technology that falls on the heels of 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) as it is commonly known. But with 5G come some significant new developments that make it unique.
One innovation is the introduction of higher frequency spectrum, so called “millimeter wave” frequencies. There is still some jockeying in terms of exactly which frequencies will be deployed at scale, but generally speaking we are talking about frequencies in the 30Ghz range and above. These frequencies have never been used before for cellular communication, so FPGAs are well positioned to help tackle the myriad challenges which include new baseband and RF architectures, new beamforming techniques and advanced RF domain processing for efficient and flexible use of spectrum.