NIWeek 2015:  Samsung and Nokia demonstrate their prototypes of 5G networks

Last week Samsung unveiled its FD-MIMO signal focusing and Nokia displayed its 10 gigabits per second transmission at 73 GHz.

The 21st annual NIWeek 2015 conference conducted by NI was held last week, from 3 till 9 August, in Austin, Texas.

During the conference, Samsung and Nokia, which are among the biggest partner’s of National Instruments, demonstrated the working infrastructure prototypes for the 5G Networks which would form the base of next generation wireless technology that includes the Big Data applications and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Basically 5G network aims to improve the performance by hundred times in comparison to the current 4G system, next it would also allow the transmission of tens of megabits per second to the smartphone users which also includes offering peak rates of gigabit per second within an office.

Samsung unveiled its FD-MIMO signal focusing:

The first public demonstration of a prototype 5G FD-MIMO (Full Dimensional Multiple Input Multiple Output) base station, that has the capacity of serving multiple users with high data rates, was given by Gary Xu who is the Director of Research at Samsung, America. The FD-MIMO served to get more information through the airwaves.

The demo comprised of a small base station containing the FD-MIMO antenna array and four National Instruments’ USRP RIO software receivers which emulated into four “5G” handled terminals. In addition, the Korean company, Samsung, also used new 3D beam forming algorithms.

The demo was a success only due to the 3D beam forming algorithms, because in absence of this, the four terminals could manage only 2 Mbps (megabit s per second) and the base station was also was not able to support all the four users at the same time. However, once the 3D beam forming algorithms was switched ON, with the help of multi-user interference cancellation algorithms was able to bring all the four emulated handsets online and immediately it was able to bump a throughput of 5G data to all users at the rate of more than 25 Mbps.

James Kimery, Director of wireless software at NI said: “The companies had to get creative with their equipment.”

Kimery also added: “Not surprising, it was very difficult to find off-the-shelf equipment that could do everything they needed. They needed some customization because FD MIMO is new … with the NI platform they could do it specifically the USRP RIO, LabVIEW communications.”

On the other hand, Gary Xu, from Samsung said: “The antenna design benefits from the large number of DSP slices available in the Virtex-7 FPGA as well as the large number of high-speed SerDes transceivers, which drive the 32 antennas in the MIMO array through 32 high-speed DACs.”

For more details check this link.

Nokia displayed its 10 gigabits per second transmission at 73 GHz:

Besides Samsung, the other key player who participated in the NIWeek’s 2015 5G discussion was Nokia.

Amitava Ghosh, who leads the North America radio systems research at Nokia, gave some inputs regarding Nokia’s advancement in the field of 5G.

Ghosh said: “We are exploring flexible physical layer interface across all frequency bands. 5G architecture, massive MIMO, IoT, which is specifically focused on LTE-M, license-assisted access to name a few.”

According to Ghosh, for 5G to be a success it will be crucial to focus on the high band spectrum which is associated with millimeter wave bands. He also mentioned that currently Nokia is totally focused on the millimeter wave for both backhaul and access technology.

Ghosh explained: “To me, (to achieve) the 10,000x or 20,000x improvement in capacity, we need to explore (spectrum above) 6 GHz. We are focusing … on sub-6 GHz, centimeter wave and millimeter.”

Ghosh further added: “The challenges are penetration loss, how to overcome diffraction loss … how to design efficient beam tracking algorithms, how to make efficient use of RFIC so that you have a cost-competitive RFIC design to name a few.”

Though Ghosh admitted that there will be lots of difficulties to make the millimeter wave a workable option; he also feels that the “new beam steering algorithm” of Nokia would aid in addressing these issues.

Kimery admitted that Nokia’s “new beam steering algorithm” was the major key which helped Nokia to achieve the results at a faster rate. Kimery added: “Nokia didn’t have to rewrite everything from scratch, they started from the initial prototype from last year and then they were just able to extend it and they had a high amount of re-use. You can’t build a system like that unless you have a high amount of re-use, both in hardware and software.”

For more details check this link (Nokia and NI discuss their roles in prototyping 5G applications.)

Conclusion:

According to Kimery, both Samsung as well as Nokia are already on the cutting edge of 5G technology and would continue to be the major players as the technology develops.

Kimery further also said: “In terms of the 5G research vectors and who’s winning, I think that both Samsung and Nokia are in a pretty strong position because they are actively demonstrating these 5G technologies that may or may not appear in the standard, but well ahead of some of their competition.”

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