Samsung unveils new chipsets to enhance next generation 5G RAN portfolio
Jun 23, 2021
Samsung Electronics today unveiled a range of new chipsets that will be embedded into the company’s next generation 5G solutions. The new 3GPP Rel.16 compliant chipsets consist of a third generation mmWave Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) chip, a second generation 5G modem System-on-Chip (SoC) and a Digital Front End (DFE)-RFIC integrated chip. The company’s latest chips will power Samsung’s next-generation products for 5G build out, including the next generation 5G Compact Macro, Massive MIMO radios and baseband units, which will all be commercially available in 2022.
The new chipsets were announced today at “Samsung Networks: Redefined,” the company’s virtual public event highlighting notable 5G accomplishments and new solutions for network transformation. At the event, Samsung emphasized its experience in developing in-house chipsets for more than two decades and reiterated the significant investments behind the launch of multiple generations of chipsets starting from 3G, leading to today’s cutting-edge 5G solutions.
The newly introduced chipsets are designed to take Samsung’s next generation 5G lineup to a new level, boosting performance, increasing power efficiency and reducing the size of the 5G solutions.
Samsung’s newly-introduced chips are:
- 3rd Generation mmWave RFIC:
This new chip follows prior generation RFICs from Samsung. The first generation, introduced in 2017, powered the company’s 5G FWA solutions supporting the world’s first 5G home broadband service in the U.S. Two years later, the second generation powered Samsung’s 5G Compact Macro, the industry’s first mmWave 5G NR radio, which has since been widely deployed in the U.S.
Samsung’s 3rd generation RFIC chip supports both 28GHz and 39GHz spectrums, and will be embedded in Samsung’s next generation 5G Compact Macro. The chip incorporates advanced technology that reduces antenna size by nearly 50%, maximizing the 5G radio’s interior space. Moreover, the latest RFIC chip improves power consumption, resulting in a more compact-sized, lightweight 5G radio. Lastly, output power and coverage of the new RFIC chip have increased, doubling output power of the next generation 5G Compact Macro.
- 2nd Generation 5G Modem SoC:
Samsung’s first 5G modem SoCs, introduced in 2019, powered the company’s new 5G baseband unit and Compact Macro. To date, more than 200,000 of these 5G modem SoCs have been shipped.
This new second generation chip will enable Samsung’s forthcoming baseband unit to have twice the capacity, while cutting power consumption in half per cell, in comparison to the previous generation. Moreover, supporting both below-6GHz and mmWave spectrums, it offers beamforming and increased power efficiency for Samsung’s next generation 5G Compact Macro and Massive MIMO radio, while reducing the size for both solutions.
- DFE-RFIC Integrated Chip:
In 2019, the first Digital/Analog Front End (DAFE) chip was introduced by Samsung, serving as an essential component of 5G radios (including Samsung’s 5G Compact Macro), by converting analog-to-digital and vice versa, and supporting both 28GHz and 39GHz spectrums.
This new chip combines RFIC and DFE functions for both below-6GHz and mmWave spectrums. By integrating these functions, the chip not only doubles frequency bandwidth, but also reduces the size and increases output power for Samsung’s next generation solutions, including 5G Compact Macro.
“This newly unveiled chipset is the fundamental component of our state-of-art 5G solutions, developed through a long-standing R&D effort that enables Samsung to be at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge 5G technologies,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “As one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, we are committed to developing the most innovative chips for the next phase of 5G advancement, integrated with the features mobile operators seek to stay competitive.”
“5G chipsets are critical to achieving the performance capabilities required for next-generation network deployments,” stated Anshel Sag, Moor Insights & Strategy. “Samsung’s long-standing expertise in developing chipsets in-house is a key differentiator, positioning it as a leader in the delivery of 5G network solutions with the features and benefits operators seek to advance their 5G strategies.”
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. This includes the creation and shipment of innovative chips from Samsung’s manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.
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