[Video] Behind the Scenes – Developing Samsung’s 5G Solutions in an Anechoic Chamber
The major benefit of a wireless network is exactly that – no wires. Wireless networks bring more convenience to our lives, and have become an essential part of our daily routines. For instance, with wireless networks, we can stream HD movies while on-the-go and immediately share our memorable 4K video moments on mobile devices with family and friends whenever, from wherever we are.
To power immersive mobile experiences in 5G, Samsung has introduced advanced 5G solutions that include new baseband units and radios. Among these 5G radios, Massive Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) radios are one of the most attractive options for mobile operators looking to deploy or enhance their 5G networks. The massive MIMO radio is a breakthrough solution that is equipped with a lot of antennas for better coverage and more capacity than a radio. As 5G networks continue to expand around the world using mid-band spectrum, 5G Massive MIMO radios with hundreds of antennas are commonly deployed in the market to help handle the growth in mobile data traffic.
To develop these powerful 5G Massive MIMO radios, numerous tests must be conducted to inspect the products for performance and reliability. One of the tests is conducted at a special facility called an anechoic chamber. Samsung Electronics has several anechoic chambers that are used to analyze and test the antenna performance of its radios. Recently, the company opened a large anechoic chamber at its Digital City campus in Suwon, Korea in order to enhance its ability to introduce more advanced and compelling 5G solutions to its customers.
Testing in Anechoic Chambers
The term “anechoic” comes from “an-echoic”, meaning non-echoing or non-reflective in Greek. As its name suggests, this room can emulate a non-reflective environment by using special walls and ceiling and floor designs to completely absorb all reflected electromagnetic waves. This is extremely important since even a small electromagnetic wave can disrupt an accurate antenna measurement. The interior walls are built with a number of absorbers that have a pyramid shape and help to minimize interference in the shielded room. This concept is very similar to how a stealth aircraft evades radar detection by absorbing and scattering radar signals.
The chamber’s interior is also equipped with a parabolic reflector. This reflector is used to collect radio waves from a generator and re-project the waves to the 5G radios placed inside the chamber. By collecting and re-projecting the waves at different angles, the parabolic reflector can simulate long distances, making it seem as though the 5G radio were transmitting radio waves to a mobile device from a far-off location. While the size of the chamber is relative to the simulated distance, Samsung’s chambers can simulate a distance of as much as hundreds of kilometers, creating what is called a “far field condition”. To measure the accuracy of radio performance, the size of the chamber is critical.
Samsung’s anechoic chambers are also able to cover a wide range of spectrum across low, mid and high-bands. This is especially useful in evaluating 5G radio performance since 5G spans various spectrum bands. Specifically, Samsung’s facilities have the ability to test mmWave antennas, which power high-capacity 5G mobile services. The mmWave spectrum is not used in 4G technology but is crucial to supporting immersive 5G use cases due to its wide-bandwidth.
By enabling tests to be conducted using a range of spectrum, the data sets collected in this way will help Samsung’s engineers verify and analyze a very high number of radio patterns. Based on the findings, engineers are able to refine and improve 5G radio performance to deliver best-in-class solutions for mobile services.
“We are extending our capabilities by developing powerful 5G solutions with the newly added anechoic chamber,” said Seunghwan Yoon, Vice President and Head of the RF Lab at Samsung Electronics’ Networks Business. “With vigorous quality control and verification processes, we look forward to bringing the full benefits of cutting-edge 5G solutions to more users for immersive mobile experiences.”
Better, More Powerful and Reliable 5G Solutions
The establishment of anechoic chambers is part of Samsung’s ongoing efforts to provide superior, reliable 5G solutions that deliver ultra-fast connectivity to users. These chambers help Samsung develop innovative antenna systems tailored to advanced 5G solutions in a wide array of spectrum bands. By leveraging a range of tools and facilities like anechoic chambers, Samsung looks forward to delivering leading-edge 5G solutions that offer consumers and enterprises around the globe new and immersive mobile experiences.
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