Brendan Farley, Xilinx
In emerging 5G base station architectures, the radio bandwidth and channel count will expand rapidly and the performance requirements will vary widely. Any commercial solution must be delivered with lower power and smaller footprint and in a cost-effective manner. Recent advances in FPGA technology enable direct digitization and synthesis of RF carriers by the FPGA, allowing traditional RF functions such as custom analog mixers and local oscillators to be moved to the digital domain. This provides a flexible, software programmable digital-RF platform to address of the myriad of emerging 5G radio requirements. And by implementing these features in FinFET technology, the cost, power and footprint of the solution can be radically reduced.