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|5G Systems and Packaging Opportunities|
|Keywords: phased array, 5G, t/r module|
|5G Systems and Packaging Opportunities Rick Sturdivant, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA Abstract 5G systems are being developed to meet the ever increasing desire for additional data bandwidth. The key enabling technologies for these systems are millimeter-wave electronics and phased arrays. Phased arrays have traditionally been used on military radar and satellite systems. However, they provide the capability to direct communication antenna beams directly to users or groups of users. In fact, standards committees agree that all network elements (including base stations, Access Points, and User Equipment s) will be equipped with directional steerable antennas and can direct their beams in specific directions. In other words, phased arrays will be deployed at a variety of points in the 5G system even down to user equipment such as mobile phones, tablets, and lap tops. However, the components and modules used in 5G systems come with their unique packaging challenges. Those challenges will be described and some solutions will be given. 5G systems alternatives will also be described based on several architectures that are available for phased arrays. The two main reasons they are a challenge to package will be described. Several alternative solutions including heterogeneous packaging and 3D integration are described. Section I: Introduction Global mobile data usage is projected to grow from 11.2 Petabytes per month in 2017 to 48.3 Petabytes per month by 2021 and the compound annual growth rate from 2016-2021 is expected to be 46%. Meeting this need requires a complete rethinking of mobile data access. For this reason, mobile system developers are working to deliver 5G solutions to service a highly mobile and fully connected society. The vision is for a 1000X increase in mobile data capacity, connecting 7 billion people, 7 trillion devices, while saving energy and reducing down time [ ]. However, these goals cannot be achieved without significant technical advancements in system design and electronic packaging. The key enabling hardware technologies for 5G are phased arrays and millimeter-wave systems and components. Previously, phased arrays have been used for military applications such as fighter airplane radar and satellite communication systems. However, they are being used or planned for use in multiple systems including 5G. In fact, the European 5G Public Private Partnership says that “we assume backhaul and access links share the same air interface, and all network elements (including BS [Base Stations], APs [Access Points] and UEs [User Equipment]) are equipped with directional steerable antennas and can direct their beams in specific directions [ ]. In other words, phased arrays will be deployed at a variety of points in the 5G system even down to user equipment such as mobile phones, tablets, and lap tops. However, the components and modules used in 5G systems come with their unique packaging challenges. Those challenges will be described and some solutions will be given. 5G systems alternatives will also be described based on several architectures that are available for phased arrays. The two main reasons they are a challenge to package will be described. Several alternative solutions including heterogeneous packaging and 3D integration are described. Section III: Phased Array System Description Phased arrays can be constructed many different ways. The Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) is a common method that uses transmit receive (T/R) modules at each antenna element in the array. The packaging of T/R modules is a challenge for three reasons. First, array lattice spacing is small (approximately 7.5mm at 20GHz). In that space, the T/R modules must be packaged along with the cold plates. Second, the power density can be significant in T/R module because of the high power amplifiers (HPA). They can generate power densities of several thousand watts per square centimeter. Third, the electrical interconnects can be a challenge due to the operating frequency. This often requires the use millimeter-wave flip chips and vertical transitions. An alternative to AESAs is digital beam forming phased arrays. However, this method comes with its challenges too. We will describe a prototype systems operating at 2GHz and a 1.5GHz that use software defined radios and high speed analog to digital converters. Section II: Heterogeneous Integration Heterogeneous integration is the transistor-scale integration processes required to intimately combine compound semiconductor devices (such as GaAs, InP, GaN, and SiGe), as well as other materials and devices, with high-density silicon complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology [ ]. Section III: 3D Packaging 3D packaging using techniques such as 3D MERFS offer the ability to package electronics with low loss transmission lines, integrated passives, and active components [ ]. This method is especially attractive for millimeter-wave systems. Conclusions This presentation describes the benefits of 5G systems and the main system architectures. Phases arrays are then described along with the transmit receive modules contained in them. The packaging challenges are then described along with solutions. One of the solutions is to use heterogeneous integration and another is to use 3D MERFS packaging. References|
|Rick Sturdivant, Assisstant Professor
Azusa Pacific Univesity