This two-part article series reviews new developments in the Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G-LTE) cellular standard. The series explores LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) Release-12 (Rel-12) features and the impact on eNodeB radio frequency (RF) transmitters. The articles reveal how analog integration can overcome design challenges arising from the latest 4G developments.
Part 1 was on Technology Evolution and examined market forces driving global adoption of the LTE standard and trends in fourth-generation (4G) radio access technology.
This article explores the analog integration challenges in 4G base stations. Rel-12 features, such as wideband downlink CA, downlink multiple-input multiple-out (MIMO) spatial multiplexing, and AAS with embedded RF, present new design challenges in next-generation eNodeB radios. A bits-to-RF solution can help engineers shape alternative radio transmitter architectures (an example is given). The discussion focuses on novel RF digital-to-analog converter (RF-DAC) technology that yields a single-chip, wideband RF transmitter. Topics include system-level applications of RF-DAC and the integration benefits that it delivers to eNodeB radio design.
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