Accelerating 5G: Intel’s 2nd Generation 5G Mobile Trial Platform at MWC ‘17

Six months ago, I started a blog with the phrase “Scientists dream about great things. Engineers do them.” Today, I am proud not only to tell you that Intel is indeed doing great things in 5G, but also to show you firsthand – with live demos of Intel’s 2nd Generation Intel® Mobile Trial Platform at Mobile World Congress 2017.

We’ve been iterating quickly since my last update, which you’ll see for yourself at MWC, where we’ll be demonstrating an industry first—5G interoperability between partner base stations and our 2nd Generation Intel® Mobile Trial Platform. Visit our booth and our partners’ to see the 2nd Gen Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform’s 5G mmWave RFFE (Radio Frequency Front-End) and five Intel® Arria® 10 FPGAs at work. We’ll be showcasing operation at 100-200MHz at the event, but the platform itself can reach speeds of up to 3Gbps Over-The-Air (OTA) at 100-800MHz bandwidth. 5G interoperability involves not just basic end-end IP functionality but also multi-carrier operation; addressing and interaction with multiple devices; and scheduling via multiple transmission points—delivered via the platform’s 28GHz RFFE and 4×4 and 8×8 mmWave arrays.

That’s not to say, of course, that we’re focused solely on the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform and its achievements in early 3GPP New Radio (or NR) functionality. We’ve also added a critical new element to our 5G RF capability in the form of our 5G RFIC. The single monolithic design is capable of supporting 50MHz, 100MHz, 200MHz, 400MHz and 800MHz transmission and reception at bands from 3.3-4.2GHz to 28GHz and beyond (the latter, when combined with the 5G mmWave RFFE). And all with support for 4×4 MIMO sub-6GHz and 2×2 dual-polarization MIMO for mmWave bands. We view this as a huge step forward for 5G RF integration.

5G Automotive Trial Platform
5G Automotive Trial Platform

We’re also extending the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform to new and critical vertical uses cases, as we’ll be demonstrating at the show with our Intel® GO™ Automotive 5G Platform, powered by our 2nd generation 5G Automotive Trial Platform (ATP). This platform features 5G connectivity at 28GHz mmWave operation using the Intel 5G mmWave RFIC, which allows vehicles to rapidly transmit camera and LIDAR sensor data directly to the data center, and machine learning algorithms, with 5G vehicle to everything (v2x) connectivity. We have also integrated both the sub-6GHz 5G operation and 28GHz 5G mmWave RFFE operation into a multi-panel 5G antenna “fin” offering 360-degree coverage.

You’ll also get a look at the Intel GO platform’s 4G Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) capabilities at Mobile World Congress, enabled by our Intel® XMM™ 7360 LTE modem. This allows the vehicle to “talk to” other vehicles nearby, sending and receiving critical notifications using Intel FlexRAN solutions to access Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) servers and resources. Intel hasn’t forgotten the importance of LTE to 5G and we are continuing to evolve our 4G roadmap. In fact, we’ve doubled down on it, with the announcements of the Intel XMM 7480 4G LTE Advanced modem and now, the Intel XMM 7560 modem . The Intel XMM7560, sampling in 1H ‘17, builds on a tradition of faster speeds, lower latency, and radio innovation—delivering gigabit data rates for the first time in a single, global SKU.

It’s Intel’s commitment to supporting multi-mode operations that not only allows us to move quickly, but also has us ahead of the curve on meeting 3GPP 5G NR requirements with the announcement of the world’s first global 5G modem at CES earlier this year. The Intel® 5G Modem, expected to sample in 2H ‘17 with devices in 1H ‘18, will be the first chip to support 5G operation in both sub-6GHz bands and mmWave spectrum in regions worldwide.

The Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform will power our multimedia demos—streaming multimedia at low-latency over-the-air (OTA) via Ericsson* 28GHz eNB network infrastructure to user devices for an untethered experience as well as demonstrating the impact of Mobile Edge Compute via our demonstration with Nokia*.

We’re also tracking fast toward 3GPP NR Rel-15 specifications—not just with our multi-connectivity modem roadmap, but also with our programmable Intel® Mobile Trial Platform, the 3rd Generation of which is already in development. This next-gen design will double the horsepower of the 2nd Gen Intel Mobile Trial Platform by upgrading from Intel Arria 10 FPGAs to Intel® Stratix® 10 FPGAs. It will also incorporate fundamental NR air interface physical layer features, such as low latency sub-frame design; flexible and scalable numerology multiplexing; 5G LDPC and Polar channel coding; massive MIMO, and beamforming. We expect it to accelerate the commercialization of 3GPP-compliant NR solutions with early validation, demonstration and interoperability trials across multiple vendors.

The growing capabilities of Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platforms are bringing to life key experiences that will be made a reality through 5G. Come visit us at our Mobile World Congress booth and see for yourself how Intel is accelerating the path to 5G. Read about Intel’s other Mobile World Congress 5G announcements from Aicha Evans.

Suggested Resources

5G Development Gets Agile with Intel’s 2nd Generation Mobile Trial Platform

Spanning Car, Connectivity and Cloud, Intel GO Platforms Lead the Way in Automated Driving

Intel Accelerates the Future with World’s First Global 5G Modem

Read the Intel® XMM™7560 fact sheet.

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About Kenneth Stewart

Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Stewart is an Intel Fellow and chief wireless technologist for the Platform Engineering Group at Intel Corporation. Over the past 25 years in the industry, Stewart has contributed strongly to fundamental research in mobile wireless technologies including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA and LTE, and to the development of the associated 3GPP international wireless standards, particularly HSPA, LTE and LTE-Advanced. He has engineered and reduced to practice base station and mobile solutions based on the same technologies. Most recently, Stewart was CTO for TE Connectivity's wireless division, where he drove innovation and product development for advanced small cell and distributed antenna systems, wavelength division multiplexed fiber distributed radio access networks, coordinated multipoint transmission systems and solutions for broadband wireless access infrastructure. Previously, Stewart was vice president of Standards and Research at Motorola Mobile Devices, where he was responsible for international standards and research work in areas ranging from radio access networks, through multimedia systems to mobile applications and services. He served as advisor to Motorola Mobile Devices senior leadership on fundamental technical and strategic issues regarding the performance and evolution of radio access networks and multimedia technology. Stewart has held the position of Motorola Dan Noble Fellow and served on Motorola's Science Advisory Board. He holds more than 35 issued patents, with multiple patents pending. He is a graduate of the Institute for Communications and Signal Processing at the University of Strathclyde, where he is also Visiting Professor.