Rohde & Schwarz Claims First 2D/3D Antenna Characterization in 6G Tests

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Academia and key industry players have identified the D-band, ranging from 110 GHz to 170 GHz, as a candidate frequency band for beyond 5G and 6G mobile communications as well as for future automotive radar applications. Rohde & Schwarz announced that its sub-THz research efforts with focus in this frequency range, reached new milestones. In collaboration with Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP), Rohde & Schwarz has performed what the company calls “the industry’s first full 2D/3D antenna characterization of transceiver modules operating in the D-band.”

The test setup consists of the R&S ATS1000 antenna test system, the R&S ZNA43 vector network analyzer and the R&S AMS32 antenna measurement software from Rohde & Schwarz. The R&S ATS1000 antenna test system is a compact and mobile shielded chamber solution for OTA and antenna measurements, which it says is ideal for 5G mmWave applications.  

To cover the D-band frequencies, extensions from Radiometer Physics GmbH, a Rohde & Schwarz company, are used in the setup, which allow direct frequency conversion at the probe in both transmit and receive directions. No mechanical modifications or additional RF cabling to the antenna test system is necessary. The setup can measure the amplitude and phase coherent response of a DUT radiating in the D-band. Fully automated 3D-pattern measurements including post-processing can be performed in short time thanks to the R&S AMS32 software options for nearfield to far field transformation and the highly accurate precision positioner.

IHP provided four different devices under test, based on the same D-band radar transceiver chipset but with different antenna structures, including on-chip single and stacked patches with air trenches and an on-chip antenna array. The over-the-air characterization verified the wider bandwidth provided by the stacked patches than that by the single patch.

Prof. Gerhard Kahmen, Managing Director of IHP, says: “Sub-THz frequency systems are getting more and more attention in research and many fields of application. The Rohde & Schwarz OTA test system, extended to D-band, provides an excellent way to characterize radiation patterns of the complex antenna structures, realized in our D-Band radar chips, in a time efficient and precise way. For IHP, these measurements are valuable to understand the physics of the antenna structures and to further improve their performance. The very successful cooperation with an industrial partner leading in the field of wireless and mmWave communication shows the benefit of close interaction between research and application.”

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