Measurements of NXP’s 5G NR FR2 antenna demonstrator were performed for characterization and calibration of the integrated antenna phased array.
Characterization of the integrated antenna demonstrator is challenging because of the high level of integration between the MMW9014K dual-polarized beamformers, and the antennas. The beamforming integrated circuits (ICs) are validated by NXP by testing in a conductive manner. However, in the application the chips are combined with the antennas, where the effect of the combination of the ICs and antennas has to measured over-the-air.
The antenna system contains 64 antenna elements, where each element requires calibration and characterization. The output phase and magnitude of each beamforming IC can be controlled using software. The ANTENNEX algorithms extracted the optimal settings for each beamforming IC, depending on the required performance, such as reduced side-lobe-levels, minimum cross polarization, low axial ratio for circular polarization, or maximum Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP). The temperature of the beamforming ICs can be extracted as demonstrated here, to evaluate the optimal thermal performance for different beamforming settings. The measurements of the individual elements of the demonstrator performed by ANTENNEX, including measurements of optimized array performance, are shown here.
NXP has written a blog about the design of the antenna demonstrator.