The world's first 5G mobile phone released, who is behind the scenes?

Earlier this month, Motorola released a new modular product, the Moto Z3, at the Chicago headquarters. The 5G Moto Mods module was also unveiled. When combined, the 5G mobile phone is truly a reality.

Moto Z3 continues the previous thin and light design, side fingerprint recognition. It adopts 6-inch 18:9 Super AMOLED 2K resolution screen, equipped with Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, 4GB RAM+64GB ROM, rear dual 12 megapixel camera, front Set 8 million pixel camera, run Android 8.1 system, follow-up will follow Android 9.0 for the first time, battery capacity is 3000mAh.

Compared with the mediocre Moto Z3, more highlights of this release are still focused on the 5G Moto Mods module. It is reported that this module will integrate components such as the Opteron X50 5G Modem and Qualcomm's newly launched QTM052 millimeter wave antenna module. There is a separate 2000mAh battery for endurance protection. Moto Z3 only supports the current 3G/4G network, but by combining 5G modules, it can support Verizon's 5G millimeter wave network in the first half of next year, and then take the 5G express train.

Needless to say, the importance of 5G, compared with today's 4G, the speed of 5G is not only one more G. But you are curious, how is the speed of 5G mobile phone so extreme, how is this behind? The technology is supporting? Let's talk about this thing today.

In pursuit of faster network speed, millimeter wave is the key

In principle, there are basically two ways to increase the transmission rate of wireless transmission. One is to increase the spectrum utilization, and the other is to increase the spectrum bandwidth. In comparison, the first scheme is more sensitive to the channel environment. Both ends need more complicated circuits to correct, which poses a great challenge to power consumption. It still needs continuous research and optimization. The method of increasing spectrum bandwidth is simple and direct, and has become an important choice for 5G speed increase.

But the problem has also followed. The commonly used frequency bands below 5 GHz are already very crowded. Where can I find new spectrum resources? The industry has turned its attention to millimeter waves.

As the name implies, millimeter wave refers to electromagnetic waves with wavelengths on the order of millimeters, and its frequency is between 30 GHz and 300 GHz. The industry believes that the 28 GHz band and the 60 GHz band are the most promising two bands used in 5G, and the available spectrum bandwidth in the 28 GHz band. Up to 1 GHz, compared to the current 4G network with only 100MHz of available spectrum bandwidth, the millimeter wave has a 10x improvement, reflecting the transmission rate is a gigabit change.

However, like other high-spectrum resources, millimeter waves have congenital deficiencies: they are attenuated in the air, are susceptible to the weather (easy to be absorbed by leaves and rain), and have a low diffraction power, which means that The transmission distance of millimeter waves will be greatly shortened, and the coverage capacity will be greatly reduced. If it encounters rain, the signal performance will be very unstable. Therefore, in order to utilize millimeter waves, it is necessary to find a way to overcome its shortcomings in attenuation and diffraction.

Therefore, beamforming technology has entered our field of vision and become the core technology in millimeter waves. This technology uses multiple antenna arrays to transmit signals separately, and the signals between different antennas interfere with each other (some offset, some enhancements), The signals are aggregated into beams and concentrated in one direction. Compared with the omnidirectional emission in the past, they are more directional and more concentrated, which effectively alleviates the coverage problem caused by millimeter wave attenuation.

However, the strong directivity of the beam also brings new problems: If the terminal moves in communication, the beam cannot be accurately transmitted to the other party according to the original direction. Therefore, the beam must be constantly adjusted by the beam steering technology to point to the direction of the transmission object. At the same time, beam tracking technology is introduced to intelligently track the transmission object, and more accurately control the beam's transmission direction. Even if the other party is non-visible, the mobile state can be accurately transmitted, ensuring the reliability of millimeter wave communication.

It can be said that beamforming, beam steering and beam tracking technology are the three major tools used by the industry to tame millimeter waves for mobile communications. However, it is necessary to integrate these three technologies into mobile phones, which is not for the design and manufacture of mobile phones. Easy things.

Modular design is essential for 5G phones

As mentioned above, the beamforming technology required for millimeter waves requires a large number of antennas to form an antenna array. However, the thinner the mobile phone is, how can it accommodate so many antennas? In addition, beam steering and beam tracking need to intelligently track the transmission object. Direction and always adjust the beam direction, which requires all the RF components on the mobile phone and the modem to work closely together. How to make the RF components seamlessly coordinated? Both questions point to the same answer - modular RF design.

In July of this year, Qualcomm announced the launch of the world's first fully integrated 5G millimeter wave and below 6GHz RF modules for smartphones and other mobile terminals, namely QTM052 millimeter wave antenna module and QPM 56xx 6Hz RF module. Yes, the QTM052 is designed for millimeter-wave applications, solving many of the technical and design challenges of using millimeter waves, making millimeter-wave applications possible in mobile terminals and networks. As the industry's first 5G millimeter-wave module, it can Support the beamforming, beam steering and beam tracking techniques we introduced earlier.

These two modules work with the existing Opteron X50 5G modem to form a complete solution from 'modem to RF front end', and Qualcomm is currently the only communication company that can provide such a complete solution. As an image metaphor, If the modem is the brain of mobile communication, then the RF front-end is all the senses in the communication, the RF can't work normally, your mobile phone is no different from the 'scorpion scorpion', can't hear other people's information, and can't make timely feedback. This solution from modem to RF enhances the tacit cooperation between the modem and the RF to provide better communication signals.

In addition, due to the increasing popularity of the full Netcom properties of mobile phones, the wireless transmission function is more abundant, and the RF front-end is often very complicated. It integrates cellular networks, Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC and other radio systems, each running on dozens of frequencies. And each has very different power consumption and radiation control, mutual electromagnetic interference is difficult to avoid. Without modular RF design, mobile phone manufacturers need to spend a lot of time and effort to integrate, debug and optimize hundreds of different RF devices Finally, the performance of the mobile phone design is difficult to guarantee. At the same time, considering the thin and light design of the mobile phone, the internal space is becoming more and more tense, leaving less space for radio frequency utilization, so a modular 5G millimeter wave antenna design is needed to effectively control the mobile phone antenna. the size of.

Qualcomm's QTM052 module has an amazingly small package size, which is actually less than a coin size, but it hides complex antenna arrays to meet the application of mobile phones to millimeter waves. According to Qualcomm's data, such a lightweight package It can fully meet the needs of installing 4 modules in a mobile phone, effectively solving the performance problem caused by the extrusion of RF space.

In addition, considering that 5G will also use the frequency band below 6GHz to achieve wider coverage, Qualcomm has also released QPM 56xx 6Hz RF modules, including QPM5650, QPM5651, QDM5650 and QDM5652, which are designed to fully utilize Utilizing the advantages of 5G, the frequency band below 6 GHz and the millimeter wave antenna system coexist in the same terminal.

These two modules work with the existing Opteron X50 5G modem to form a complete solution from 'modem to RF front end', and Qualcomm is currently the only one that can provide such a complete solution. With this solution, the terminal Manufacturers can quickly get started with 5G terminal development, which greatly reduces time and technology costs. At the same time, modular, highly integrated components also give manufacturers more freedom, and provide strong support for creating more distinctive 5G smart terminals.

It is worth noting that the 5G Moto Mods module that Motorola has released recently uses the combination of the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and QTM052. At the same time, more manufacturers are also practicing. I believe that in the near future, high-volume 5G terminals will be truly city.

5G commercial is no longer a paper

In the past few years, Qualcomm has taken the lead in the 5G basic research invention and 3GPP standard development. It has demonstrated the 28GHz mobile millimeter wave prototype system and the 5G NR prototype below 6GHz, and actively cooperates with AT&T, Vodafone, China Mobile and other global operations. Business and network infrastructure vendors have developed interoperability and OTA trials, and have accumulated valuable experience, which is the key to 5G.

Today, Qualcomm introduces the first fully integrated 5G new air interface (5G NR) millimeter wave and RF module below 6GHz for smartphones and other mobile terminals, pushing 5G commercials to new heights in one fell swoop, and fully guiding the industry chain to explore 5G direction. , so that 5G is no longer on paper.