Amazon LEO SATCOM Payload Architecture

Kuiper Systems LLC, subsidiary of Amazon, has filled FCC application for Satellite Space Station Authorization on July 4, 2019.

Based on the application, it appears that Amazon prefers and down selects traditional/legacy Phased Array Architecture for LEO Satellite.  This entails costly radio front end as well as required calibration to overcome P.V.T. and associated operational algorithms.

Given that, should they opt for traditional Bent Pipe instead of On Board Processing payload, it would be the bottle neck for Eb/N0 and/or LEO DL Throughput.

Partner with ORTENGA to analyze LEO SATCOM Link Budget, identify Radio Front End, Transceiver, and MODEM chip sets/vendors, and design HW with down selected ASICs and appropriate algorithms to control beamforming architecture for your mobile product.

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Posted on July 11, 2019

The Art of Triangulation Location Finding

Location finding of mobile UE in radio network has become ubiquitous feature with multiple use cases.

The art is to triangulate the UE as accurate as possible.  The triangulation means determining the timing measurements from at least 3 reference points and calculating the distance from these points to locate the UE.

The following diagram illustrates triangulation of UE by three cellular sites.

In practice, it boils down to detecting signals from the Cellular Sites, estimating the relative timing based on the signal strength and estimation of appropriate part of the sub-frame of cellular packet format/protocol as well as digital signal processing algorithms which are based on statistical analysis.

The calculated location of the UE would be to within a “Triangle”, or uncertainty.  The smaller triangle the better the signal detection and/or algorithms.

Partner with ORTENGA for location finding HW/Algorithm design and development.

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Posted on July 2, 2019

Debugging and Design of Experiment, DOE

In the field of radio communication systems engineering, there are many times where the system has to be debugged to diagnose an issue and to be addressed.

In order to debug any system, there should be a mapping between failure signature/symptom and potential sources/contributors to that issue.  To draw that mapping, it requires understanding of actual systems design, RF impairments and requirements.

That mapping of symptoms to potential sources should be done by radio communications systems engineer with insight to overall design.  Typically, for any issue, there are many sources that could independently and/or collectively cause that issue.  To verify and test for each condition, it would be time consuming and resource intensive, i.e. expensive.

Radio Communication Systems engineer will be able to look into the design requirements/specifications and rate or access the risk of occurrence of potential issue and prioritize the verification of parameters to be tested.  That priority list which is based on risk assessment is called Design of Experiment, DOE.

DOE saves resources and time to get to the root cause.

Partner with ORTENGA  to debug and root-cause any system issue you are facing before launch of your new product.

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Posted on June 28, 2019

Does an amplifier help improving the signal to noise ratio?

RF Engineering profession has many pitfalls for new comers or those who don’t have adequate education or experiences.  One of the first pitfalls encountered by many who are new to RF engineering, is in a system where the signal to noise ratio, SNR,  is weak and inadequate, adding an inline amplifier.  Their expectation is to increase SNR by adding some gain via the amplifier.

It would become clear, if tried, that the inline amplifier does not discriminate the desired signal vs. undesired signal/noise, i.e. the amplifier cannot tell the difference between signal and noise.  Therefore, both signal and noise get amplified at the same rate, dB per dB, therefore not only the SNR does not improve going through amplifier, but also the output SNR of the amplifier would degrade relative to the input SNR, due to added noise by the amplifier.

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Posted on June 27, 2019

5G Health Concern

ORTENGA has received many requests to look into 5G Health concern of this new technology. Although, ORTENGA  does not provide consulting services of the impact of 5G electromagnetic waves on biological tissues and human interaction, ORTENGA is sharing information with consumers and its clients, so that they can be in better position to make the judgement themselves.

What we don’t know?

Since 1970’s, although many researches have been conducted to assess the impact of electromagnetic fields and/or radiation on human body and/or tissues, there is no concrete conclusion of that impact or interactions.  Regardless, there is working equipment which can be used to assess cause and effect in systematic and/or scientific manner.

What we know

Let’s delve into some of the equipment and discover how they interact with human body in statistical sense. By Statistical sense, it is meant that although human body is complex and does not necessarily every individual (considering race, gender, age, state of minds, etc.)  have the same response to various stimuluses (in this case electromagnetic fields) but overall most of the population under the study would have the same/similar reaction.

Human body response to Electromagnetic fields and waves depends on:

  1. Frequency of operations
  2. Strength of the Electromagnetic fields
  3. Whether it is soft or hard tissue

In other words, safety of exposure to electromagnetic radiation depends on all of the above.  Consequently to draw any scientific conclusions all of the above metrics have to be considered and tracked for any meaningful case study.

Frequency of Operations

Radio waves are anywhere between KHz, e.g. AM radio, way below 1GHz, to RF1 up to 6G, and into mmW bands up to 60GHz, 802.11ad/ay.

The changes in operating frequencies are ~8 orders of magnitudes, i.e. 108 or 100 million times differences.  That is significant range of operating frequencies, AM radio to mmW into 60GHz, and nothing that we know of behaves in the same way over that extreme wide frequency range, equipment and/or human body.   Therefore, let’s breakdown the radio waves operating frequency to the following use cases and evaluate case by case.

Use Case 1:  Magnetic Resonance Imaging, aka MRI, equipment used for imaging of soft tissues is typically operates at 1T or 1.5T in case of Human subjects.  One Tesla, 1T, is equivalent to 10000 Gauss, G.  Earth magnetic field is 0.5G, to put Tesla unit into perspective.

About 75% of human body weight is comprised of water.  The resonance frequency of water is function of magnetic field strength.  Resonance frequency can be considered the frequency at which the water molecules have tendency to oscillate naturally.

The relationship between human body soft tissue resonance frequency and magnetic field strength is per following:

Where, B, f, and gama are Magnetic field, frequency, and Gyromagnetic ratio, respectively.

Therefore, 1T and 1.5T magnetic fields yield 42.xx and 63.yy MHz operating frequencies, respectively.  Observe that as the magnetic field increases the water resonance frequency also increases with direct proportion.

In other words, for imaging soft tissues, e.g. muscle, brain, internal organs, the MRI equipment operate at ~42 or ~63 MHz.  The impact to human body is known to be negligible so long as the body stays stationary inside the MRI magnet.  In case of movement inside of the MRI magnet, there is Eddy Current generation that could potentially harm and cause in comfort to the patient.  Therefore, there is trade-off between a non-invasive imaging to diagnose any potential issue versus minimal risk to put the body under strong magnetic field for duration of the test only.

Use Case 2: 802.15.6 is Standard which addresses Wearable sensor for human body applications.  Although the allocated operating frequency covers 2.4GHz ISM band, but the lower frequency edge is 20 MHz, which is known to be providing better coupling between the sensors and human body.

Use Case 3: Cellular phone operating frequencies are typically between 1 – 2 GHz.  The strength of the cellular phone electromagnetic radiation must be less than 1.6W/Kg per FCC regulations.  Human head weights about 4.5 to 5 Kg. The maximum permissible operating power of the cellular phone is ~23dBm, 250mW, or 0.25W.  This is the amount of transmitter power in the case the cellular phone being at the farthest location from the nearest cellular base station which provides connectivity, a rare/edge scenario. These numbers are calculated for impact to the user of the cellular phone and don’t apply to second hand individual near to another user. Also, we are mixing near field, user’s head proximity, with far field radiation, just to have some baseline for this calculation. Typical operating point of cellular phone is around ~10mW, or 0.01W.  Therefore, human head exposure to electromagnetic energy to be transmitted to the base station is numerically very low, compare to FCC regulations. Incoming phone calls power to the cellular phone are typically between -80 t o-100 dBm, which are 90 to 110 dB below the typical cellular phone in transition mode.  90 and 110 dB below power means 1 down to 1/100 billion times smaller, respectively.  In other words, the worst case radiation is when one is transmitting via cellular phone, i.e. receiving mode is much more benign.

The question still remains are these levels of exposure safe for human at the operating frequencies of cellular phone.

Based on the Example 3 calculations, it is safe to assume the exposure of electromagnetic radiation to nearby or bystanders’ people (i.e. not the person who is using mobile phone) are way below FCC regulations. We don’t know if that is safe, but we know it is low relative to FCC regulations.

In other words, if you don’t believe cellular phones are safe, so long as you are not the one using them, you can safely assume to be statistically unharmed if other people use them.

Use Case 4: Hyperthermia or Heat Treatment is a technique which some Oncologists utilize to decelerate or destroy/kill cancer tumor non-invasively using electromagnetic radiation pointed only at the malignant tumor cells.  By increasing the blood flow and temperature of the tumor cells to about ~44°C, the human cells are dying.

Hyperthermia equipment is typically operating between 100 – 900 MHz operating frequency range.  The optimum frequency depends on the volume of the tumor.  For instance, for 3 – 4 cm3 tumor the optimum frequency is ~450 MHz. It is also well known that higher frequency provides better spatial resolution, i.e. more focused energy into the tumor and not its vicinity.  The trade-off is between better spatial resolution and less power/energy penetration/absorption for/by the tissue.

Use Case 5: 5G RF2 is in mmW bands, at 24, 28, and 39 GHz.  The mmW bands are near water molecules absorption frequency in gas or moisture in the air.  It is well known at these frequencies; the Atmospheric Loss, AL, becomes significant in communication link between transmitter and receiver, i.e. less power is received by intended receiver for given transmitted power.

The following is AL in GHz spectrum range published by FCC, Bulletin Number 70, in July 1997.

The mmW power transmitted decays much faster over the air; consequently the range (the maximum distance between transmitter to receiver) is significantly shorter.   This in turn dictates that transmitter power cannot be indiscriminately (in all direction) radiating for any useful purpose and requires pointing the energy/power to desired direction, i.e. actual end user.

5G will be relying on beamforming techniques to point the energy of the transmitter directly at the end user, receiver.  Therefore, by standers will not be receiving any radio wave energy.  In fact beamforming is part of 3GPP and 802.11ad/ay Standards, which operate in mmW bands, because of AL.

The beamforming is the technology which dynamically points the transmitter energy to mobile receiver in much less than seconds interval.  In doing so, the receiver and transmitter are in continues communication about each other locations.  The radiation pattern is pencil beam with couple of degrees Half Power Beamwidth, HPBW.  To appreciate the directivity of pencil beam transmitter to receiver, you can touch your satellite dish slightly to move it, and you will be losing the signal completely (don’t do this, if you do not have adequate equipment and skills to put the satellite dish pointing back in the original direction).

5G technology is expected to be scalable for requested user data and availability of network. That means, if you are doing a voice call in 5G networks, you are not necessarily using 5G infrastructure for your call to go through, because that would be wasting significant radio network resources, and your call may be scale back down to legacy voice network with current networks.

Conclusions

The point is that if you are not the one who is having and using 5G or 802.11ad/ay new WiFi devices in mmW, then you are not being illuminated by 5G or 802.11ad/ay new WiFi transmitter.

That is not necessarily true about 4G/LTE, 3G/CDMA, 2G/GSM, 1G/AMPS, and legacy WiFi networks.  In other words, 1G/2G/3G/4G, and legacy WiFi networks illuminates everyone in their coverage area regardless whether they are the actual end user for radio wave communications, whereas 5G networks illuminate the end mobile user.

MRI, Hyperthermia, and Wearable equipment focus below 1GHz operating frequency range, where actually coupling of electromagnetic energy into the human body is intended.  As the frequency increases, the atmospheric loss of transmitted signal and penetration into human tissue decreases.

The mmW bands (well above 1 GHz) signals have much less penetrations capability into human body and have significant loss through air relative to sub GHz bands.

In light of the above, can we say that 5G is safe technology?

What we could conclude is that 5G technology would not be any less safe than 4G/LTE, 3G/CDMA, 2G/GSM, and/or 1G/AMPS communication networks, while the service is used appropriately.

If you are not convinced on health safety of previous mobile communication generations, then you should continue your research for additional information to make appropriate conclusions.

ORTENGA is consulting firm which provides design and develop algorithms and HW modules, or customer specific projects in the field of wireless communications.

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Posted on June 24, 2019

What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a set of rules, step by step, and/or process for completing a very specific task.

In High tech industry, within the invention of any machine, automate piece of equipment, always if not many, at least one algorithm is used for expediting the execution of sequence of an event.

In particular, Wireless Communication Systems industry uses many algorithms to accomplish and maintain functionality as well as performance of your wireless device, phone, laptop, microwave oven, etc.

ORTENGA subject matter experts design and develop algorithms, such as but not limited to Automatic Gain Control, AGC, of transmitter and/or receiver chains, aka transceiver, synchronization between transmitter and receiver, calibration of RFIC, RF impairment estimations and corrections, controlling beamforming of a Software Defined Antenna.

Whether you use ASIC devices from vendors or you design and develop ASIC which needs to interface with multiple devices within the HW systems environment in any Wireless Applications and Standard, ORTENGA  can develop appropriate algorithms to meet the requirements.

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Posted on June 18, 2019

802.11ay, Next Generation WiGig Packet Format

802.11ay is the next generation of WiGig, aka 802.11ad, with mission to enable Augmented Reality, AR, and Virtual Reality, VR, and wireless backhauling applications.

802.11ay will enable 100Gbps connectivity for short range by utilizing MIMO, Channel Bonding, improved channel access, and enhanced beamforming training.

The following diagram illustrates 802.11ay packet format.

802.11ay packet, Enhanced Directional Multi Gigabit aka EDMG, is expected to be backward compatible to 802.11ad, aka Legacy, L, in the above diagram.

Partner with ORTENGA for designing and developing mmW Beamforming radio communication architecture and systems.

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Posted on June 17, 2019

Top Skills for Project Ownership and Leadership

In high tech industry, there are some organizations which accomplish the project in hand and become successful.  On the other hand, there are other organizations which face challenges in accomplishing their own goals.  There are distinct differences between these organizations which can be spotted and perhaps mitigated if the issues are acknowledged, highlighted, and addressed before valuable resources such as; time, engineering, and funding run out.

The success of technical projects depends on three factors.  First, the project must be scoped out properly, after the project leader has been assigned to it.  The project owner/leader has to learn about the necessary milestones, draft a plan and timeline to accomplish them within the first two months in to the project.  The necessary milestones could be anything that needs to be accomplished for at least any next six month down the road in to the project.

Second, the project owner/leader has to access the required engineering skills for taking on the project. That requires understanding the milestones dependencies as well as fair amount of knowledge of about doing them. Not having appropriate engineering resources delays and prolongs at minimum and eventually leads to stagnant in achieving any meaningful milestones.

Third, the project owner/leader has to access the required equipment which will be needed for engineers to accomplish their tasks in achieving the milestones.  Good engineers may/can come up with innovative ideas to overcome lack of proper tools, by trading fair amount of time to design and develop the required tools.  If the project is time sensitive, then having proper tools could be critical.

Anyone whom does not possess at least two out of three of the above skills, will be setup for an impossible challenge at the best, most likely, s/he would be not realizing the challenge in hand until the significant time, most valuable resource, is elapsed before acknowledging or being reminded of by the market opportunities squandered.

Someone, who possess and understanding of first and second of the above skills, will have engineering resources that can lead through and find out about the third, still, s/he would be facing challenges which will test his/er resolve, only succeed if willing to learn the missing third item along the way.

Obviously, someone who possess all three of the above, will have adequate resources at his/er disposal and in best position to address technical challenges in the face of project before accomplishing it.  If you want guarantee success of your project, then you need leader with not only the fundamental 3 attributes but also with vision which can see beyond the next 6 to 12 months and onto 1 year or 2 years out.

Successful organizations and top executives are aware of these top skills requirements. They seek, identify, and select project leaders with all three attributes, and may compromise only one out of three.  Program managers can help in filling the gap of the missing item.

Best teams are comprised of top quality leader as described above, program manager, appropriate engineering and equipment.  They are prepared to weather the challenges and overcome them.

ORTENGA is comprised of Subject Matter Exports in Radio Communication Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Software Defined Radio, Software and Firmware Drivers who can provide services to your project success.

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Posted on June 15, 2019

Why On-Board Processing Satellite Payload will be enabling LEO?

Legacy GEO satellites non-regenerative, aka Bent Pipe Payload technology, were designed based on the constraints and requirements of 1960 – 2010 to save Size, Weight, and Power, SWaP, which ultimately impact cost.

Over the past two decades, the need for higher data capacity has grown significantly, from few hundreds Kbps to tens of Mbps, and continuing even steeper trends for the next decade.

Over the same period, the semiconductor geometry has decreased from 0.130um down to 7nm CMOS technology for digital signal processing at baseband.  The electronics’ power consumptions have also been reduced by implementing Sleep and Awake circuitry for the time of use, while reverse saturation current been directly proportional to the geometry.

Data capacity is dictated by Shannon Theory and is proportional to bandwidth and power, which are governed and restricted by FCC and ETSI.

In order to achieve higher throughput in the LEO SATCOM, architecture and system designers are taking a fresh look at new as well as legacy constraints and requirement to innovate alternative solution which addresses today’s consumer electronics product.

On Board Processing Payload allows the retrieve of data at satellite payload, which would remove/diminish satellites’ C/N and C/I dependency in the overall LEO Link Budget, consequently increasing the overall Eb/N0, hence better data throughput.

On Board Processing Payload not only has become possible, but also necessary to meet required data throughput for the next decade.  LEO Payload satellites are being designed and developed with this new technology.

Partner with ORTENGA in designing the architecture and systems of LEO SATCOM products.

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Posted on June 14, 2019

Regenerative LEO Satellite Payload Architecture

As LEO satellites designed and launched, some are based on legacy Bent Pipe Architecture and others are utilizing Regenerative, aka On Board Processing Payload Architecture.  Regenerative LEO satellite architecture is more complex with the advantage of additional throughput relative to Bent Pipe system.

The following diagram illustrates top level Regenerative or On Board Processing LEO Payload.

Design of the LEO payload requires analyzing and decomposing the system requirements to component level which will satisfy the overall expected throughput during the operation.  It would, then, require down selecting appropriate vendors with specified semiconductor ASIC, designing HW with selected components, validating the design system level requirements via DOE before launching the payload.

Partner with ORTENGA in design and development of your LEO SAT Payload and/or LEO UT.

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Posted on June 12, 2019

LEO SATCOM Beam Sequencing Requirements

In contrary to GEO satellites where they are in the orbit geostationary with respect to Earth, LEO satellites are passing by User Terminal, UT, every 10 – 20 seconds depending on the their altitude, the number of satellites in each orbital plane, and network coverage plan.  Therefore, LEO UT must be able to Beam Sequencing in very short period of time to track the moving LEO satellites while they keep connectivity with the satellites.  Consequently, the UT must either mechanically or electronically sequences its beam to keep the connectivity while it is tracking one satellite and hop to another moving satellite when the first satellite is out of sight.  This has implications on the how fast the beam has to form and on the technology of the beam steering mechanism.

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Posted on June 9, 2019

LEO UT and 5G gNB Beamforming Options

Beamforming is becoming ubiquitous in LEO UT and 5G gNB electronics.  The history of beamforming can be traced back to 1960’s in Phased Array Antennas.

The following diagram illustrates the progress of beamforming technologies and engineering complexity over the past ~70 years.

It can be seen that beamforming started with Antenna and RF engineering in Analog domain, hence ABF.  To address some of the issues seen in Digital domain by later feasible technology, DBF was born.  A decade later, Hybrid Beamforming, HBF became the optimum technology for large arrays of antennas.

Nowadays, Holographic Beamforming, HGBF is the trend for many applications.  It worth to mention that HGBF is still new and cross functional engineering discipline must be involved to design successful product for LEO UT and/or 5G gNB electronics, where Systems Engineering, SE, is at the heart of the efforts to put together that intricate engineering product.

Part of engineering complexity comes about the operation of these technologies in actual field when there are unit to unit, i.e. Process, Voltage, Temperature, aka PVT variations and these electronics must maintain the adequate level of performance to be useful.

The following diagram illustrates high level integration capability vs. characterizations and calibrations needed before actual field operations.

There are some practical metrics, such as Cost, Power consumption, Size, and Weight that play roles in deciding whether to integrate any technology into a product.

The following diagram illustrates the level of Cost vs. Power, Size, and Weight of the beamforming technologies.

Let us know how ORTENGA can be part of your design and development of new radio technology.

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Posted on June 1, 2019

SATCOM Coding

The following diagram illustrates SATCOM concatenated coding architecture used between Satellite and UT.

It is well known that Viterbi coding causes burst errors and RS coding is capable of removing several error simultaneously, therefore concatenated Viterbi and RS coding is a natural choice for SATCOM applications. Adding coding, error correction of digital signal enhances the radio communication performance by reducing the required transmit power for given BER, i.e. QoS, and/or increasing the range.

The tradeoff is in Latency as well as receiver decoder complexity and its implementation in the SoC.

SATCOM is utilizing concatenated coding architecture in which 2 layers of known coding are providing enhanced error corrections to reach QEF.

Let us know how ORTENGA can help in design and development of your radio communication systems.

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Posted on May 27, 2019

5G Concatenated Coding Architecture

It is well known that by adding coding, error correction of digital signal enhances the radio communication performance by reducing the required transmit power for given BER, i.e. QoS, and/or increasing the range.

The tradeoff is in Latency as well as receiver decoder complexity and its implementation in the SoC.

5G is utilizing concatenated coding architecture in which 2 layers of known coding are providing enhanced error corrections with known decoding algorithms.

The following diagram illustrates 5G NR concatenated coding architecture used in UE.

Let us know how ORTENGA can help in design and development of your radio communication systems.

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Posted on May 24, 2019

Wearable Technology

With the introduction of 5G mobile handset into market, there are many new features that can be sought of. One of these new features is sensor technology that provides health and/or well-being monitor of the user.  This technology idea is not new and being used in space programs since 1960’s.  However, now it is becoming part of commercial applications.

Apple, Adidas, Google, Nike are among many more mid and small size companies which are designing and developing consumer products with embedded Wearable technology in to their product lines.

All of these Wearables utilize wireless connectivity, i.e. radio, to transfer data from the sensor, e.g. human breathing, pulse, sweat, organ’s information to mobile handset device for further analytics and display.

Partner with ORTENGA to capture constraints and requirements into appropriate product definition before designing and developing your new Wireless Wearable product.

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Posted on May 18, 2019

What are Radio Link and Line-up Budgets?

Radio communication link between any transmitter to receiver needs to be designed for:

See figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Radio Communication Link

Radio communications systems like 4G, 5G, WiFi/802.11, BT, 802.15, LEO SATCOM, radar, microwave links all have Link Budget.  The Link Budget is more than just the engineering analysis and system design, it also impacts the bottom line via systems throughput.

Keep in mind, given 5G Standard, that does not imply the Link Budget is unique and the same for every system.  It depends on the constraints and use cases for your particular application.

That communication link depends on additional parameters such as:

  • Wavelength or operating frequency
  • Transmit antenna
  • Receive antenna, i.e. G/T
  • Characteristics of the receiver, Line-up Budget
  • Whether it is Line of Sight, LOS, or Non Line of Sight, NLOS
  • Objects between the transmitter to the receiver, natural or man-made, which cause fading
  • Modulation and Coding Scheme, MCS, i.e. required BER and Eb/N0
  • Whether there are any other Radio nearby, i.e. radio coexistence or interference by other users

Once the Link Budget is analyzed and determined the required transmit power, range, and receiver SNR, then the Line-up Budget must be done to design that transmitter and/or receiver.

The Line-up Budget is the analysis that determines the required component specifications which are needed to meet the Link Budget, see figure 2 below.

Figure 2: Typical Radio Transmitter and Receiver

The Line-up Budget consists of thermal noise, phase noise, quantization noise, I/Q imbalance, non-linearity, dynamic range, overhead, AGC, Exact number of bits analysis for the overall system.

Each component in the radio front end must be defined in a way to meet the required noise and unwanted signal level at its input as well as output.  In other words, the SNR is not constant and is function of the each node and dependent on the component selection and performance.

Keep in mind that if you expect your radio to work under any environmental circumstances, then all of the above analysis and component selections must work over Part to Part, Voltage, Temperature, aka PVT variations.

Not all of vendors’ component will meet the Link and/or Line Budget of your system; that is what differentiates any radio system from another, a prototype against robust radio.

The difference between prototype radio and a robust radio is not about functionality of the radio, it is about maintaining the performance of the radio under all of the above environmental variations and in presence of other users which interrupt the radio performance if it is not properly designed and budgeted.  The robust radio meets end user need in actual environment, whereas the prototype radio demonstrates functionality under limited conditions.

Various Standards require different architecture, system analysis, and appropriate components’ selection.

Partner with ORTENGA for your new radio systems design and developmentORTENGA provides architectural, system analysis, design, and validations to meet the end user requirements based on your constraints and requirements.

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Posted on May 13, 2019

Which Waveform should be utilized for LEO SATCOM, DVB-S2, 3GPP, or CDMA Waveform?

Commercial GEO SATCOM MODEMs are based on SoC DVB-S standard.  On the other hand, CDMA waveforms are utilized for Governmental and Proprietary GEO applications.

LEO SATCOM application is targeting higher throughput and feasibility studies and simulations are being done to look for alternative waveforms which are more spectrally efficient.  One of these waveforms is 3GPP LTE and/or its derivatives.

Both CDMA and LTE waveforms provide higher sensitivity MODEM relative to DVB-S2.  Additionally LTE MODEM can support higher bandwidth and spectrally more efficient at high SINR, MCS13/14/15, than CDMA.  LTE SoC MODEM and appropriate test equipment are also available in the current market.  Many companies are working to tailor and optimize new family of LEO SATCOM SoC MODEM.

Partner with ORTENGA to down-select appropriate MODEM SoC for your new product.

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Posted on May 11, 2019

What is the importance of G/T?

G/T stands for receiver Antenna Gain to Thermal Noise ratio.  It turns out that C/N is directly proportional to G/T for any receiver.  Therefore, the data rate or throughput is directly proportional to G/T.

For instance in SATCOM link, the receiver C/N reference to antenna terminal is directly proportional to G/T.

By carefully looking into the G/T metric, it becomes clear that just optimizing the antenna for its gain does not necessarily yields to a better C/N, as there is a trade-off between antenna gain and its thermal noise.   Consequently, G/T is the metric to be optimized during antenna design.

Antenna temperature is function of its physical and brightness temperatures, as well as radiation efficiency.

Appropriate systems and architecture design takes into account the trade-offs and inherent relationships between these metrics to arrive at appropriate link budget and system behavioral model for computing C/N and throughput.

Partner ORTENGA for feasibility study, designing, and/or developing of your new radio communication systems architecture and definitions.

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Posted on May 5, 2019

LEO Down-Link Throughput

According to FCC regulations for Satellite EIRP, PFD on Earth, and analyzing, LEO Ku band User Terminal, UT, DL can have better than 10dB Eb/N0.  By adding 8dB Turbo coding gain, that is ~18dB, conservatively.  In other words, UT DL link can operate up to 256QAM Modulation and Coding Scheme, MCS, with existing MODEM SoC in the market.

The frequency reuse could be eight 250 MHz DL Channels for users in Ku Band, 10.7 – 12.7 GHz.  Therefore the antenna requires 2 GHz bandwidth, albeit it could be dynamically tunable. Each of these 250 MHz channel is divided into multi access depending on the BW allocated by the network for each user.  The user band selection occurs in the digital domain via MODEM SoC time slot partition.  That is each UT process the 250 MHz band through RFFE and in the MODEM the data parsing and dedicated user data is selected.

Partner ORTENGA in designing and developing of your LEO SATCOM User Terminal.  ORTENGA will work with you to define Throughput/Availability of Network Resources, Assignment of Resources to each Customer, Coordination of Spectrum with regulatory organizations, FCC and ETSI, and other users of the spectrum, Optimization of Link budgets and System Trade-Offs. ORTENGA will down select components such as SoC MODEM and Transceiver RFIC and required filtering which account for Thermal, Phase, I/Q imbalance, Nonlinearity, and Quantization noise, and Top Level Architectural documents for the Wireless System, AGC Algorithm and Gain Line up.

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Posted on May 4, 2019

Successful Electronic Consumer Product

Successful electronic consumer product can be introduced in to market and become common name within its first year of introduction.  Looking back for example, iPhone (smart phone), Thumb drive (USB memory) are good examples.  Now they are must have for anyone in high tech industry and doing business within electronic industry.

How did the original version got to be recognized by consumers?

  1. Identify the need/pain point.
  2. Out of Box product was conceptualized.
  3. Technical feasibility was verified.
  4. Appropriate components and vendors were selected.
  5. Diligent works were done to build the new product prototype.
  6. Manufacturability of the prototype was analyzed.
  7. Production was launched.

In all of the above, it is outward looking and taking calculated risk.  If your company is not willing to invest on new ideas, then don’t expect disruption.

Disruption requires systems engineering with vision and business acumen to architect any successful electronic consumer product.

Partner with ORTENGA to conceptualize, architect, and design appropriate system to realize your new radio product.

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Posted on April 30, 2019

The impact of Antenna Efficiency on Antenna Temperature

Radio Communications Systems Engineers budget the noise impairments of each block in the system to limits it and design for adequate SINR.  In spite of that, there is not much can be done to limit the noise contribution of the antenna itself, so it must be well understood before claiming design completion.

Antenna noise temperature is function of physical and brightness temperature.  The physical temperature of the antenna is dictated by the antenna surrounding or ambient temperature.

Brightness temperature is the temperature that is seen by antenna based on its radiation pattern as well as environmental condition, profile or distribution of background temperature.

For instance, if the background temperature is constant, then the brightness temperature is background temperature.  In SATCOM, the brightness temperature is not constant and depends on the pointing angle of the UT antenna.

As the antenna efficiency increase, the antenna temperature can converge to brightness temperature.  In fact, if the radiation efficiency is 1, then antenna temperature is brightness temperature.  On the other hand, when the radiation efficiency is zero, the other extreme, the antenna is a matched load and the antenna temperature is its physical temperature.

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Posted on April 29, 2019

5G Phone ODM Players

Amazon, Apple, Google, Nokia, LG, Samsung, and many more are working toward 5G UE, i.e. phone.

High Tier UEs are based on Qualcomm X55 5G MODEM (i.e. Qualcomm 2nd generation 5G SoC MSM) and RF360.  The only exception is Samsung which are having two distinct designs, one utilizes X55  and the other uses Samsung 5G MODEM.

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Posted on April 27, 2019

LEO SATCOM Architecture of Choice

Amazon, Facebook, Oneweb, and SpaceX all utilize Super Heterodyne LEO SATCOM radio architecture.  The difference is that Amazon and SpaceX rely on legacy intermediate frequency, IF, while, Facebook and Oneweb are not.  This implies difference frequency planning and capabilities of RF front ends, RFFE.  Facebook and Oneweb architecture allow for higher datarate/throughput, ~7x. This is a significant advantage which could the data cost to the end user as well as bottom line difference, hence ROI.

AT&T seems to be relying on beamforming architecture for the electronically scanned antenna, ESA.

Almost all startups utilize Super Heterodyne radio architecture and legacy IF.  This is due to the fact that they rely on COTS RFFE components.

Partner with ORTENGA to analyze LEO SATCOM Link Budget, identify Radio Front End, Transceiver, and MODEM chip sets/vendors, and design HW with down selected ASICs and appropriate algorithms to control beamforming architecture for your mobile product.

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Posted on April 15, 2019

Who are LEO SATCOM Players?

Amazon, Facebook, Oneweb, and SpaceX are all have jumped into the race for LEO SATCOM market to bring wireless connectivity across the globe for consumers.

What remains to be revealed is that which of the major U.S. carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile/Sprint, and/or Verizon, and International carriers NTT docomo, CMCC, and/or Vodafone have realized this untapped market and are also making progress in their network planning technology.

In addition to the above companies, there are many startups which are working on part of LEO network ecosystems.

The market opportunities are significant and the technology is new.

LEO Network will be launched as early as mid-2020 for Early Adaptors, EA, and 2021 for Rest of Worlds, ROW.

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Posted on April 12, 2019

Why DSP Algorithms are implemented via Fixed Point in FPGA?

Currently, typical HW simulators such as Matlab use 64-Bit representations for numbers.

1 Bit can be defined as distinguishing an in-distinguishable.

Typical DSP algorithms do not need such wide, 64-Bit, word for its variable to arrive at acceptable computation tolerances.  In fact, implementing 64-Bit Algorithm could be costly in terms of power consumption, required memory, and computation time, critical algorithm metrics.

On the other hand, lack of adequate Word Length could cause convergence issue, inaccurate results, and erroneous decision makings.

Proper Algorithms are optimized for all of the above metrics.

Algorithm designer can calculate the required number of Bits, Word Length, for tolerable error in computation.  This calculation is called Floating Point to Fixed Point Conversion.

There are many techniques to make the conversion and even Matlab can do that for you.

However, there is more efficient technique which will be faster to make the conversion and ORTENGA utilize that.

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Posted on April 3, 2019

Wireless Communication Systems Decomposition Flow

The following diagram illustrates the flow of any wireless communication systems decomposition.

The missing component of the above diagram is competitive landscape and new technologies’ capability, feasibility, and their applications into new products for cost reduction and performance enhancement.

At ORTENGA, we take into account both the competitive landscape as well as introducing new technology with calculated risks.

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Posted on March 27, 2019

Automotive Hidden Antenna

Fig.1 Tomorrow’s autonomous car with various communication gadgets.

Autonomous driving is the current emerging trend that is disrupting the traditional transportation market philosophy. Among all manufacturer, USA is leading in the development of autonomous vehicles followed by Europe and Asia. Electric (EV) or hybrid vehicle is the part of the autonomous vehicle, which most of the car manufacturer are dreaming to manufacture throughout the world. In addition to that, they are also interested in a cost-effective and fuel-efficient vehicle with attractive styling including the latest communication gadgets. All these ideas lead to lightweight design, sleek and reduced aerodynamics features. This market preference and technological advances have significant contribution in driving the development of automotive antennas. Today’s production vehicle is fitted with numerous antenna systems for different services; AM/FM radio, satellite radio, cellular band (4G: 690MHz—5 GHz); digital audio broadcasting (DAB: 200 MHz); remote keyless entry (433 MHz); tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), GPS (1.1—1.9 GHz); collision safety radar (77 GHz) etc. as shown in Fig.1, and the gain/polarization requirement matrices in Table 1.  With the 5G system, the low band frequency of the LTE band has been reduced to 617 MHz. It is well known that the antenna is the key element in achieving greater performance matrices in all communication system. A full feature vehicle will have more than 15 antennas installed on board.  With all these antenna elements in operation, the space available for each antenna element is getting shorter and shorter. Today there are greater challenges in the design and development of automotive antenna system compare to previous generations vehicles.

Table 1: Gain and polarization requirement for different applications.

Freq Band Gain/CLAG:

(Composite Linear average gain)

Polarizations:
FM:

76—90 MHz(JP)

88—108 MHz (US)

DAB: 168—240 MHz

(passive CLAG)

> -21 dBd

> -10 dBd

> -15 dBd

H/V
DAB: 168—240 MHz > -15 dBd H/V
SDARS: CP
LTE:

LB;MB;HB

> -7— -13dBi (CLAG) H/V
GNSS/GPS:

L1/L2/L5 band

> -3.0 — 3.5 dBi (LAG) CP
WiFi Antenna:

2.4 GHz

5.5 GHz

-10 dBi (LAG) H/V
Radar cruise:

76-81 GHz

Gain: 10-30 dBi

(depending on applications)

H/V

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Posted on March 25, 2019

What is Interleaving and Why it is used?

Interleaving is the process of placing/shuffling bits within a symbol in such a way that decrease the chance of “Burst Errors” due to fading.

There are two class of interleaving, Block and Convolutional.

Block interleaving is when the symbol is written into row of a matrix and transmitted along the column of that matrix.

Pseudorandom Block interleaving is subclass and when the symbol is written into row of a matrix and transmitted in the pseudorandom mechanism.

Convolutional interleaving is when the symbol is multiplexed in and out of fixed number of shift registers.

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Posted on March 21, 2019

Rayleigh vs. Rician Fading

Terrestrial Radio Link analysis consists of Line of Sight, Large Scale fading, Small Scale fading depending on the frequency, and Atmospheric Loss.

Large Scale Fading

Large scale fading refers to environment where the radio signal bounces of objects that are “much larger” than operating wavelength.

Large Scale fading is deterministic and it’s part of the Radio Link Budget Analysis.

Small Scale Fading

Small scale fading refers to fading environment where the radio signal bounces of objects that are “smaller” than operating wavelength.

Small Scale fading is random in nature, yet it can be introduced in the Radio Link Budget via Fade Margin.  The fade margin represents the level of robustness for the Radio Link.

Small scale fading is typically modeled either by Rayleigh or Rician probability distribution function profile.

The radio signal is modulated by fading profile.

Rayleigh model reflects a channel with many multipath between transmitter and receiver which occurs in many Terrestrial radio applications, such as Cellular, i.e. 4G/5G, and WiFi, i.e. 802.11.

The probability distribution function describes the probability of occurrence as a function of radio signal envelope.  The larger number of multipath between the transmitter and the receiver, the more spread the envelope radio signal envelope profile.

Rician model reflects a channel with one dominant, aka specular, path between the transmitter and the receiver.  Obviously, the radio signal envelope for dominant path occurs with higher or distinct probability with respect to other multipath.

Rician model approaches Rayleigh probability density function as the dominant path becomes less and less in reflecting signal strength, therefore less pronounced.

In the case of 5G and WiFi applications, appropriate large and small scale fading terms must be included in the Radio Link Budget for robust radio design.

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Posted on March 19, 2019

WiGig 802.11ad Data Rate vs. Range

The following graph illustrates Data Rate vs. Range for 802.11ad, aka WiGig, for OFDM signaling and Line of Sight, LOS, for mmW back haul applications.  The mmW back haul can be realized with HGBF architecture.

It takes into account the Atmospheric and path loss.

The system can be realized with Holograhpic Beamforming Architecture, HGBF.

ORTENGA can model and compute the impact of Large and Small Scale fading as well.

In addition, similar modeling is available for mmW 5G Waveform and applications.

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Posted on March 11, 2019

WiGig, 802.11ad Packet Format

The following diagram illustrates 802.11ad Packet Format.

Preamble

Short Training Field, is STF used for receiver Automatic Gain Control, AGC, and synchronization, Automatic Frequency Control, AFC, whereas, Channel Estimation, CE is used for receiver assessment and adjustment of parametric depending on the channel behavior.  Overall that is the purpose of “Preamble”, STF and CE.

Header

The Header is different for various PHY.  It contains Modulation Coding Scheme, MCS, and the length of data, aka Checksum.

Data

Data is function of modulation and coding, MCS, and the length can vary depending on the PHY.

TRN

This an optional field meant for beamforming.  It allows the beamforming algorithm to be trained and optimized via the User Equipment, UE, and/or Customer Premise Equipment, CPE.

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Posted on March 8, 2019

MIMO OFDM Systems Architecture

MIMO and OFDM are two essential technologies for many radio systems communication new applications, such as 5G and WiGig/802.11ad.

The following diagram illustrates MIMO OFDM Systems Architecture for Tx and Rx, bits to bits.

The number of antennas can be scaled up to meet desired performance, power, size, weight, and cost requirements.

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Posted on March 4, 2019

Water Fall Curves for BPSK, QPSK, 16, 64, 256, 1024, and 4096 QAM

Water fall curves represent BER vs. Eb/N0.

Eb/N0 is used so that BER is independent of BW and data rate.

N0 represents Additive White Gaussian Noise, AWGN density.

The following diagram illustrates BPSK, QPSK, QAM 16, 64, 256, 1024, and 4096 BER.

Observations

  1. BER is function of minimum Euclidean distance between constellation points. That is why QPSK and BPSK are performing the same.
  2. In the above chart, within the steep section of BER curve, small changes in Eb/N0yields large changes in BER, hence “Water Fall Curves”. Consequently for achieving BER performance, adequate margin needs to be considered in the design of the system.
  3. Forward Error Correction, FEC, can be utilized to improve BER in expense of spectral efficiency. In other words, the FEC shift each curve to the left.
  4. In practice, there could be irreducible error noise floor due to fading where exponential becomes linear decay in the above chart. In other words, no matter how much Eb/N0is improved the error remains constant above certain level when there is fading channel.

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Posted on March 3, 2019

Which should be used, SNR or Eb/N0?

SNR stands for Signal to Noise Ratio and typically is figure of merit for signal quality in the RF domain.

Whereas, Eb/N0 stands for bit Energy to noise density ratio and typically is figure of merit for digital domain.

Radio System Engineers deal with SNR for quantifying signal quality in the analog/RF domain and the instrumentation is made to capture that.  Radio Systems Engineers, however, aware that the SNR changes as the signal propagates through the system and is not necessarily a constant at each node.  This is an important distinction which can be misleading, if not fully understood.  If you plan to purchase a component, then it is imperative to understand this fact and how to use datasheet numbers for your systems, otherwise you would run into shortcoming issues at the systems level.

Digital System Engineers prefer Eb/N0 because it is independent of data rate as well as signal bandwidth, yet function of Modulation and Coding Scheme, aka MCS or MODCOD.

This metric, Eb/N0, is of prime interest at the input of the detector for obvious reason and stated in various standard documents without explicitly mentioning the reference plane.  It should be transposed back to SNR when referred to receiver input port for the link budget and/or system line up model.

There are some related metrics such as Es/N0, BLER, FER, PER etc.  Es/N0 stands for Symbol Energy to noise density ratio. BLER refers to Block Error Rate and it is the same thing as Frame Error Rate or Packet Error Rate.  BLER, FER, or PER are metrics of L3 or Packet Layer, whereas Eb/N0 is PHY metric, L1.

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Posted on March 1, 2019

802.11ad EIRP and Transmit Power

FCC dictates EIRP (or max Tx power), frequency band, and out of band unwanted emission for North America.

The following diagram illustrates FCC requirements for EIRP and Maximum Transmit Power for 57-71 GHz Unlicensed Band, also known as WiGig .

Observe that the EIRP and Transmit power is function of Transmit antenna gain.  It is clear that as the transmit antenna gain is increased the EIRP allocated can increase, therefore allowing for longer range in the case of pencil beam radiation pattern.

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Posted on February 25, 2019 

5G Infrastructure and 802.11ad Access Point Opportunities for Holographic Beamforming, HGBF, mmW Architecture

Both ABF and DBF 5G mmW infrastructure and 802.11ad Access Point architectures suffer from scaling for large antenna arrays.

ABF although less expensive than DBF, requires analog domain characterization and calibration over frequency, temperature, power level, prior to operation.

DBF although does not need extensive calibration requires redundancy of dedicated baseband and radio transceiver components with additional power consumption and BOM/cost.

Holographic beamforming, HGBF, offers cost effective compromise between ABF and DBF.  The following architecture can be scaled to higher number of antenna elements which is function of the number of data streams as well as required gain.

The MODEM SoC provides multiple data streams, each data stream dedicated for single user, UE.

Metamaterial phase shifter could consists of Diodes, MEMS, or LCD, see related Blog below for comparison.

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Posted on February 23, 2019 

Open Source Interconnections, OSI, Layers

System level understanding of OSI layers is important for any architect who designs communication system.  The following table summarizes PHY up to APP layers.

It should be noted in practice, RF Systems, Communication Systems, Network, and Application Engineers own all 7 layers.

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Posted on February 21, 2019 

4G vs. 5G Waveform Characteristics

3GPP release 16 to be published later this year with complete 5G systems information.  In spite of that, the following table summarizes some of the key Waveform parameters for comparison with 4G.

5G covers sub 6GHz as well as mmW, therefore some of the metrics such as; Subcarrier spacing, CP, Symbol duration, slot length, and overheads will be scalable based on the availability of network and operating frequency.

Observations

CP will be smaller to increase spectral efficiency compare to 4G, in particular in mmW.  CP also helps in channel estimation of known signal.

Subcarrier, SC, spacing will be larger to mitigate Doppler shift due to time variant fading channel.

Both CP and SC will be scalable.

ORTENGA provides link budget analysis, transceiver line up behavioral model and/or simulation.  MODEM interface definitions and algorithms.

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Posted on February 20, 2019 

Fading Manifestations and Mitigation Techniques

The phenomenon of fluctuating signals at the receiver is called Fading.  In practice, the signal fluctuation or fading could be up to 30dB.  The fading is function of frequency, environment or channel, symbol rate, etc.

The following diagram illustrates fading manifestations to large and small scales.  Large scale fading occurs due to Non-Line Of Sight, NLOS, reflection of signal off objects much larger than wavelength.  Whereas, small scale fading occurs by objects which are in order of wavelength or smaller.

OFDM addresses Flat and Slow fading by radio architecture and waveform metrics.  Fast and frequency selective fading are addressed by receiver equalizer.

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Posted on February 17, 2019 

Antenna Tuners

Historically antenna tuners meant any passive interface impedance matching device between the antenna and the RF front end.  This terminology has carried over to UE and/or mobile devices.  In addition, as the need for multiple bands antenna increased, the need for antennas that can operate at multiple bands became prime interest of ODMs.  Nowadays, antenna tuning could either imply antenna impedance tuning or antenna aperture tuning.   The aperture tuning mechanism is part of antenna structure and changes antenna resonance frequency, hence operating at multiple bands.

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Posted on February 15, 2019 

5G Use Cases Decomposed to Communications Platform

5G next generation Wireless Communications Standards is shaping to 3 distinct use cases, namely;

mMTC = massive Machine Type Communications

uRLLC = ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications

eMBB = enhanced Mobile BroadBand

mMTC is Very Low Throughput, VLT, communications between machines and data centers which collect and analyze data for either consumers and/or enterprises. This is the definition of NB-IoT, Narrow Band Internet of Things.

uRLLC is connecting mission critical end points.  This could be communications between medical operating table and remote surgeon.

eMBB is Very High Throughput, VHT, mobile applications, what is known today as UE.

Each of the above use cases has specific applications and distinct target, therefore would require different HW/FW/SW to operate in its environment.  In other words, decomposing the Application Layer down to distinct NET, MAC, PHY layers.

The following diagram illustrates the high level decomposition of the above 5G use cases.

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Posted on February 14, 2019 

5G Beamforming Architectures

The BeamForming architectures can be categorized into ABF, DBF, and HBF.

Analog Beamforming, ABF, controls the required phase shift in the RF front end in analog domain.  Due to the nature of analog components and variations of part to part over frequency and temperature, each device has to be calibrated before operation.

Digital Beamforming, DBF, controls the required phase shift in the digital domain at BBU/MODEM.  Due to nature of digital process tight control, the calibration requirement is relaxed significantly if not all.  However, the price for that is multiple transceiver units, therefore, additional power consumption.

Hybrid Beamforming, HBF, controls the required phase shift in both Analog and Digital domains.  Analog and Digital are used for coarse and fine tuning, respectively.  The HBF is typically chosen for large arrays in order to optimize Calibration vs. BOM and Power consumption.  This is the architecture of choice when scaling for large array is required.

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ORTENGA services will include but not limited to analyze trade-offs for new product architecture, line up and behavior model, down select ASIC or budgeting blocks within the ICs (in case you are semiconductor business), define interfaces, analyze self-interfering, filtering, intermodulation, phase noise, thermal noise, quantization noise, I/Q imbalance, headroom, dynamic range, frequency planning, and/or validating the design.

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Posted on February 8, 2019 

5G Beam Forming Options, Diodes, LCD, MEMS Comparison

In order to achieve very high throughput, VHT, high SINR for high M-ary QAM has to be achieved.  That implies actively beamforming connectivity between transmitter and receiver.  Beamforming is a product of antenna array design, where inter element phase shifting occur during the operation.

Ferrite phase shifters have been used in legacy Phased Array Antennas for military applications and are very expensive.  Commercial market has been using Diodes, MEMS and LCD for 5G beamforming.  The following table summarizes the comparison between these options.

Diodes, LCD, MEMS 5G BF Comparison

The comparison above table is based on the current technology and there are innovative techniques that can overcome some of the shortcoming depending on appropriate trade-offs.

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Posted on February 6, 2019 

Plan for Success

Are you designing and developing a new product for future wireless market?  If so, do you have to anticipate what the market look like in couple of years?

You are not alone in this journey and anyone with this challenge has to make some calls now and wait to see it bears fruit.

Unless you are part of big corporation with returning customers with specific request which allows you to design those feasible requirements into the new product roadmap, you have some blind views which would impact your new product.

Many new products do not make it to volume productions or global market with target ROI just because of over or under specifications.

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Posted on January 7, 2019 

What are the Criteria for Startups to be acquired by a Bigger Company?

In high tech industry, every year many small startups companies are being acquired by bigger and profitable organizations.  What triggers these big companies to acquire Startups can typically be summarized in 3 major criteria.

Technology

First the startup has to have a new technology which would have use cases in the market space and uniquely positioned to surpass any other competitor that may exist.

Timeline

The new technology should bear fruit by less than 2 years.  This timeline includes from acquisition to final product in the hands of end users and customers.

Cost

The new technology development should increase the bigger company bottom line with healthy margin and be synergic by complementing big company products portfolio.

In practice, many of the big companies have already invested into the startups prior to acquisition and know them inside out.  The big company knows the issues/challenges and already have concrete plan in addressing them while acquired.

Startup Valuation

Obviously for this acquisition to be successful and smooth transition, the founders of startups must be on board.  Every startup has venture capitalist that owns a significant portion of the organization, both people on top and new Intellectual Properties, IP.  The investor has to be satisfied with the return of their investments plus expected profit while they know by prolonging the transaction would not bring them any more value on their investments.  The biggest assets of any Startup are its IP.  The IP consists of existing and incoming patents and most importantly the engineering that designed and developed the new product.

The preparation prior to acquisition could take between 3 to 6 months.

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Posted on January 5, 2019 

Product Over and/or Under Specifications

Do you have a new product that does not sale as it was anticipated?

If so, you are facing an issue which many companies especially startups has.  The new product is either Under Specified for features and metrics that the market needs, or if it costs more than what market wants to pay, it is Over Specified for some other parameters.

In case of many startups with a new product, they can both miss the required feature sets as well as over specifying some parameters such that the unit cost is much more than what the market is willing to pay.  Therefore, they are facing with the product that does not sell and even with marked down prices and/or discounts, the product can’t be sold with any margin, therefore it is bottom line loss and drives the product to extinction.

You can always fix a design issue with another revision, however product mis-definition cannot be fixed with another revision.

Product definition is the most important part of any new product, especially for new technology and/or market.  It requires system engineering with business acumen to research and define marketable feature sets with specific use cases and cost target in mind.

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Posted on January 2, 2019