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Millimeter-Wave Metrology

Next-generation 5G wireless will hinge on hardware operating at speeds that outrun today’s testing equipment. The radiated signal metrology for 30 GHz to 300 GHz frequencies remains sparse. Channel sounding data and agreed-upon models are lacking. In short, the metrology infrastructure upon which to build next-generation 5G communications remains at large.

NIST CTL’s millimeter-wave metrology work seeks to fill this void through four major research areas, all focusing on supporting the development of 5G wireless infrastructure. These efforts involve on-chip and free-field measurements to establish the ability to measure the antennas and communications hardware that will underpin 5G wireless.

  1. mmWave channel modeling includes mmWave spectrum characterization and channel sounding as well as leading the international 5G mmWave Channel Model Alliance to support the rapid development  of new channels at frequencies into the hundreds of gigahertz.
  2. New mmWave protocols will be capable of supporting the kinds of transmission frequencies and data rates envisioned for 5G.
  3. mmWave traceability work characterizes  signal processors operating at speeds in the tens of gigahertz and beyond.
  4. NIST CTL’s transistor and nonlinear devices measurement work develops ways to characterize high-power transistors and other nonlinear devices beyond the grasp of conventional testing instrumentation and models.
Created June 9, 2016, Updated February 20, 2019