There have been two major 5G announcements in the Nordic region lately. The first one was the Prime Ministers of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland having signed a Letter of Intent committing all five countries to creating the public-sector conditions needed for 5G and digitalization to flourish in the Nordics. A week after this announcement, the European Investment Bank signed a €250 million loan agreement with Ericsson  to boost the vendor’s R&D efforts around 5G. This shows that 5G is becoming a regional competitive edge and a political issue to create jobs as well as staying ahead in the race of innovation, as the Nordic region has been a leader for some time. A research report by the global telecommunications research firm Analysys Mason and Deloitte Consulting establishes for example that China holds a lead in overall 5G readiness, ahead of South Korea and the United States. This illustrates that 5G is not just a new technology, it is much more important. It is also a way of competing between regions, providing the best infrastructure to enable and drive innovation. What’s happening in the Nordics, will for sure strengthen the 5G offering in the region and it will be positive for all companies working within 5G technology and all new innovations this will bring. As you might have noticed, Sivers IMA received funding for 5G development and research from Vinnova and it seems clear there will be more initiatives from the government to support the development of 5G, following the Nordic Prime Ministers’ announcement. As further proof points of the interest in 5G, Sivers IMA has signed agreements with two new 5G product partners in the last couple of weeks. These companies sell equipment all over the world and they are now developing 5G productswhich shows the need for 5G mmWave solutions to support the coming 5G network buildout all over the world. Therefore, we are very optimistic about the Nordic region focusing on 5G, something we believe will lead to increased investments in 5G networks and secure future innovation in the region. Anders Storm CEO Sivers IMA  http://www.eib.org/infocentre/press/releases/all/2018/2018-133-ericsson-finances-research-into-5g-telecom-technology-with-eu-backing.htm?lang=-en
Please see our latest blogpost discussing the best way of addressing the first mmWave use case for 5G, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). The debate is focusing on how to best create the best link budget for an active electrically beam steered RF system, where companies argue how to reach the right performance.
Read it, reflect on it and if you are engaged, feel free to comment on it.
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Industry is entering a new era where the systems developed during Industry 3.0 (which became smarter through the use of computers and automation) are being connected to each other, leading to even greater efficiency and productivity. This concept, called Industry 4.0, relies on several design principles to further this goal. How can Sivers IMA radar sensors fit into this approach? The first design principle in Industry 4.0 is the one of interoperability, meaning that the machines and their sensors can communicate amongst themselves and their human users using the internet. Moving to a universal communication medium will allow for more responsive and intelligent manufacturing systems to be created, spanning global distances, by using the same ubiquitous network. Sivers IMA radar sensors are well prepared for this requirement as the MCU supports IP communication across a variety of physical layers, allowing the customer to select interfaces such as Ethernet or WiFi via internal hardware or addon cards. Transparency in information refers to the design principle of creating a virtual copy of the physical system being controlled via sensor data; taking the basic low level raw signals generated and aggregating them into a more valuable and contextual whole. The extensibility and flexibility of the Sivers IMA radar platform allows users to easily and quickly generate this raw data. This could be the analog signal from the radar front end for use in a machine learning algorithm. Or it could be information about a target that has already been identified, classified and tagged by the onboard MCU and signal processing. The important feature is that the customer can select whatever level is most appropriate to the application. The third design principle of Industry 4.0 concerns itself with the concept of “technical assistance”, or using sensors and systems to support humans in two ways – in decision making by aggregating and visualizing data, and in physically supporting humans in tasks. Radar can perform a vital role in this context, by providing a highly reliable and non-contact method of generating an understanding of an environment, especially in difficult or hazardous situations, by seeing through rain, fog, and dust. For example, the Sivers IMA RSE02401/00 radar sensor has been designed to detect humans at ranges up to 25 meters – ideal for safety applications where machines and robots are working in close proximity to people. Decentralization of decisions is the final design principle of this new era of manufacturing, and specifically refers to the ability of industrial systems to make decisions autonomously, unless there are exceptions requiring higher order resolution. This level of trust in digital control will require sensors capable of delivering a clear situational picture to which radar is quite well suited, providing a solid state, non-contact technology for measuring presence, speed or distance. Given these general design principles, this next phase of industrial evolution will require capable partners to industry for the development of a new generation of sensing technologies and thinking. Sivers IMA is an experienced provider of such know-how and products, and works with a variety of suppliers in providing innovative and cost-effective solutions. Infineon is one such company and has added Sivers IMA as one of their module partners for 24 GHz radar sensors in their pursuit of new applications and markets, including in Industry 4.0, for their transceiver chips. Sivers IMA is listed on the Infineon website as a provider of engineering, design, and manufacturing services for customers interested in using their RFIC products. The first product released by Sivers IMA using Infineon technology is the EVK02401/00. This evaluation kit uses a single TX/RX transceiver to create a highly flexible reference platform enabling the development of custom-tailored sensor solutions for Industry 4.0. Here you can find more about our Sivers IMA radar technology: https://www.siversima.com/products/radar-sensors/ Here you can find out more about Infineon radar partners: https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/product/rf-wireless-control/mmwave-mmic-transceivers-24-86-ghz/24ghz-radar-industrial/#!partners Alex Vaivars Product manager Radar Sivers IMA
Radar is a highly flexible sensing technology for measuring speed or distance in a variety of applications and conditions.
Being one of the major players within WiGig infrastructure solutions, it has become clear that there are different ways to look upon different solutions and compare them as objective as possible. This blog post intends to demystify, clarify and quantify the value higher performance creates for the total solution.
The Communication and sensor society is a reality. According Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast  Global mobile data traffic grew 63 percent and the number of mobile devices and connections grew to 8.0 billion in 2016.
We now live in a society which is based on constant communication, access to Internet is as important as food and water. According to the Ericsson mobility report  mobile data usage has increased by about 50% every year since 2011 to 2016, and it will keep on growing exponentially by 10x until 2022. On top of this there is going to be approximately 30 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices connected to the internet by 2022 (1.5 billion over cellular networks). These numbers are almost unimaginable.
Sivers IMA announced the acquisition of CST Global in April 2017. When we announced the acquisition we also promised to share more details about the optical communication market which is one of several products areas CST Global offers solutions. In this post, we will focus on FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) which is part of the Fiber to the X (FTTX) market.
“Anything is possible! Around the world, people are gaining the power to create new communities, engage across boundaries, make the world more inclusive, and change the way we do business. Transformation is happening everywhere and in every culture, country, and industry”, extract from www.ericsson.com February 2nd, 2017. End-user behavior and technology development interacts, iterates and increase the speed of innovation on a daily basis. This can be seen in every corner of society ranging from the dense metropolitan areas with “smart city” ambitions to the outskirt of rural areas, where a connected home or a connected village can be the difference between starvation and prosperity. This rapid development continuously puts new requirements on products and solutions and fuels innovation on a daily basis. Bandwidth and speed are parameters of great interest when end-users consume “gigabits by the hour”. Traditionally, fiber based connections and optical technology has been seen as the only real future proof solution to support the never-ending appetite for capacity. Recently though, we have seen proof points that the fiber based approach does not solve this challenge since considerations around cost and speed of rollout needs to be taken into account to get a viable business case for the operator and the end-user. It is not long ago we could read about Google Fiber, stating that they will use wireless technology as a strategic component when building a broadband network and providing broadband services to their customers. Recently in Sweden, we also saw a letter to the editor in the biggest financial newspaper , where it was highlighted that if the Government shall be successful in their aggressive plans to provide “broadband to the Swedish people”, they need to subsidize not only the fiber rollout, but also the wireless alternatives, i.e. it should be seen as a network wide approach and not only focused on the wireline parts of a network. To some extent, this is old news, but still very interesting when being active in the wireless arena. This blog is focusing on millimeter wave RF technology and its position on the market and this time I want to highlight one important part of a millimeter wave solution; the antenna. The antenna is a considerable part of the solution, both from a performance and a cost perspective. The antenna is the key component to address interference and distance. Depending on the antenna design, you can have a wider or more narrow antenna beam that can help you prevent interference and disturbance from other radio sources. You can also design an antenna to provide more or less antenna gain, where a higher gain will help you to reach further. Since the antenna concentrate the emitted energy into the antenna beam, the narrower the beam, the higher gain the antenna can offer. Since this is “polluting” the open space with radio waves, normally the regulatory bodies have standardized how antennas can be use in various frequency bands. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put certain requirements on e.g. antenna gain or Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP). The EIRP is defined as the output power from a radio plus the antenna gain for a specific antenna. Traditionally, the minimum antenna gain has guaranteed a narrower antenna beam, which reduces interference outside the wanted antenna direction. Since the V-band (60 GHz) is subject to higher free atmospheric loss, the risk of interference is less and therefore the regulations have been changed in the US to allow for lower gain antennas and higher output power. The FCC V-band regulations now allow to have an EIRP of +40 dBm and it is up to the supplier to design with a high gain and low output power or a lower antenna gain and high output power. This type of less stringent regulations allow for other type of antennas, for example with lower gain and transceivers with higher output power, which for example could be WiGig based solutions, that fits the new paradigm much better. Parabolic antennas Traditionally the most common antenna technology has been the parabolic antennas for point to point connections. The parabolic antenna is widely used in various use cases ranging from huge satellite communication antennas with a dish diameter of several meters to the point to point radio link communication use case, where the dish diameter is typically 0.2 to 0.6m depending on frequency. The typical antenna gain is between 30 and 46 dBi. Since the traditional point-to-point communication is sending on one frequency and receiving on another simultaneously (FDD mode), there is a need to separate the received signal from the transmitted signal to avoid interference. This is done by using a diplexer between the antenna and the radio transceiver. These diplexers add both cost and complexity, since they often require tuning during production. Lens antennas Lens antennas use the mechanical shape of a plastic lens that is fed by a waveguide or planar (PCB) antenna element. It combines low cost, mechanical robustness, flexibility and good electrical performance also for millimeter wave frequencies. This technology can be combined with e.g. a patch antenna technology to improve the performance in terms of directivity and antenna gain. The typical lens antenna for point-to-point links offer a gain between 30 and 45 dBi. Lens antennas can also offer some steer ability if used with electrical beam steering. Slot antennas This antenna type often consists of a flat metal surface or even lower cost plastics with one or many holes or slots cut out. These slots are fed with the millimeter wave signal and radiate the electromagnetic wave. The antenna radiation pattern is determined by the shape, size and number of slots. The main advantage of this type of antenna is its size, the relatively simple design, flatness and lower cost in production compared to parabolic antennas. GAP™ antennas GAP™ antennas is a type of slot antenna but based on the gap waveguide technology , to offer an antenna that combines low cost with good performance and the possibility to integrate both diplexer functionality and beamforming support in its mechanical structure. According to Gapwaves, the first generation of antennas will be available with gain ranging from 26 to 43 dBi at E-band. This type of antenna is a cost competitive alternative to the more common parabolic antennas. Future versions of GAP™ antennas will also enable integration of active electronics into the antenna structure. This will open up the possibility for electrical beam steering and beam forming by using multiple send and receive channels. During Mobile World Congress, Sivers IMA used GAP™ antennas from Gapwaves in our live demo setup. Patch antennas An even less costly antenna type is the patch antenna. This is often made of PCB or ceramic low cost substrate, which allow for very low cost and very small form factor. The disadvantage is that it is not typically the type of antenna you use to get a very high gain, e.g. the typical antenna gain ranges from 10-27 dBi depending on antenna size. For example, a 24 dBi antenna for V-band is quite small, only 5×7 cm with less than 5 mm thickness, using 16Tx and 16Rx patches with 5 elements for each path. Recent FCC requirements, gives the possibility to use low gain antennas. This makes it easy to combine low cost, low gain patch antennas with the advantage of electronic beam forming. Typically, these antennas are used when transmitter and receiver are using the same frequency to send and receive during different time slots (TDD), which is the case for solutions like WiGig. Sivers IMA is developing beam forming patch antennas together with Uppsala University, within a project co-funded by Vinnova. It is also worth noticing that patch antennas with beam steering and beam forming will be a very important part in future 5G millimeter wave access solutions. Conclusion The antenna is a critical component in all point-to-point or point-to-multi point links, which significantly impacts link budgets and the robustness of the communication system. It is therefore a crucial component to address to achieve better performance, greater functionality and lower cost for a complete link solution. The regulatory framework allows for the combination of a transceiver with relatively high output power together with a low cost, high performing antenna with relatively low gain and beam forming functionality. This is valid for key markets on the 60 GHz V-band, whereas regulatory discussions are ongoing to make relevant adjustments also for the E-band. Since the antenna in various use cases will be a vital part in our customer’s implementation, it is necessary to focus and drive innovation also in the antenna space. Our ongoing antenna development together with Uppsala University is an absolute proof point to this, whereas it is also important to monitor the development of emerging technologies with a particular focus on antenna gain in combination with beam forming capabilities. Antenna technology will be critical success factors in both V- and E-band applications as well as for WiGig and 5G use cases. Anders Storm CEO Sivers IMA