Article: A High-Efficiency 65-W WPT System for 5G FWA Applications

Article: A High-Efficiency 65-W WPT System for 5G FWA Applications

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This article, published November 20, 2020, appears in full at

The very high frequency of 5G excels at transporting large quantities of data fast, but the signal doesn’t go through walls. A gallium-nitride-based power system tackles this problem with both signal and power transferred through a wall.

By Tiefeng Shi, Paul Wiener

Wireless technology has become more sophisticated and pervasive with the beginning of the 5G network rollout. As the infrastructure becomes widely deployed and the technology matures over the ensuing years, 5G will make sense for many more applications.

5G coverage, besides being impacted by the physical distance between cell towers/repeaters, depends on the environment. 5G networks aren’t particularly good at providing coverage when the signal is interrupted by walls, water towers, and other barriers to RF propagation. Also, current 5G systems draw more power than other competing technologies. Well-architected power-management schemas to ensure useful operating life, the maturing of IoT, and wireless charging will all undoubtedly work together to create more technology innovation for 5G infrastructure.

Magnetic-resonance-based wireless-power-transfer technologies such as AirFuel1 have emerged in recent years, leveraging their loosely coupled nature, higher operating frequency (6.78 MHz), and ability to offer differentiation in position flexibility, large separation distance, and multi-device charging capabilities.

The trend for 5G networks will likely result in operating at very high frequency such as millimeter wave (mmWave) with large bandwidth for the ever-increasing connected world. For this fixed wireless-access (FWA) application, the network outdoor unit (ODU) needs power from the indoor power line and adapters. This could be accomplished by drilling holes through residential walls for connectivity. However, cost, regulations, and religious customs are issues preventing the connectivity of these systems in many regions.

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