Mobile communication is in a new round of technological and industrial transformation. 5G communication will grow into a super-complicated communication system to greatly influence the existing social ecology and reshape the daily life and a global information revolution ushering in an intelligent society after mechanization (steam engine), electrification (electric generator), and automation (computer).
Mobile communication development
The upgrading interval of global mobile communication technology is basically 10 years since 1980. The 1st generation mobile networks (1G), typically AMPS (advanced mobile phone system) in North America, adopts an analog cellular technology that can support voice services only; 2G is a digital communications technology represented by GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), which, in addition to voice, also supports SMS services; 3G is an intelligent signal processing technology, mainly WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) that supports data and multimedia services; 4G like LTE (Long Term Evolution) includes OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) and MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies for broadband data and mobile Internet services; and the upcoming 5G era is driven by the Internet of Things, intelligence, and VR, 4k video among numerous services and user demands. The mobile data traffic will explode and the application of frequency resources will increase significantly. The wireless transmission technology will be further improved. The miniaturization, virtualization and distribution of communication equipment have become the mainstream of future development.
The development of a new-generation mobile communication technology brings about new demands for interconnection technology and products. The demands for smaller, more intelligent, and more environmentally-friendly integrated connectors with a faster transmission rate will be increasing.
As a professional connector manufacturer with 50 years of experience in aerospace appliances, we transformed the D-sub series connector technology of the military industry and used it in the field of communication/data communication as far back as in 1995, and are continuously expanding our product categories at the same time. Now, we have the ability to solve the difficulties in interconnection and transmission of power, radio frequency, high-speed signals, and light.
5G frequency band requirements
Jie Zhang, technical director of aerospace electronics communications
The extensive use of smart active antenna technology in 5G system can effectively avoid the roofing space from being cramped due to the coexistence of multiple network standards and ever-increasing spectral bandwidths. In the architecture of present wireless communication systems, remote radio unit (RRU) is used for networking, which requires connection to the passive antenna through radio frequency cables. But there are a number of shortcomings, such as large loss, high power consumption, high cost, large space occupation and complicated installation. The current solution to these problems are integrating RRU elements like duplex filters, RF front-end components, power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, power modules, and interface modules into the antenna. This makes the system architecture flatter and the networking more flexible. 5G Massive MIMO technology directly leads to three developing trends of base station antennas: 1) passive-to-active antenna development, 2) RRH and antenna integration, and 3) optical fibers replacing feeder lines.
From the perspective of base station structure, the development stages of mobile base station antennas fall into integrated macro base station antennas, separation of baseband processing units from RF remote modules, MIMO antennas, active antennas, and Massive MIMO.
5G system RF interconnection technology changes most.
1. Millimeter wave technology will be widely used in 5G system.
Compared with the 4G system, 5G network has a wider frequency range, typically 6GHz, 15GHz, 18GHz, 28GHz, 38GHz, 45GHz, 60GHz, 72GHz, and even 110GHz as alternatives. Based on this, 5G base station equipment requires full band in terms of RF signal interconnection technology (including millimeter wave). The technology of 26.5G-65Hz millimeter wave connector is mature at present and its products range from 1.85mm, SSMP series, 2.4mm, 2.92mm, SMP series to SSMA series, etc., but the technology and products including 1.0mm and WMP series of 110GHz millimeter wave connector are not sophisticated currently. The millimeter wave connector is expensive however, and after the mass production of 5G equipment, the above-mentioned connector series may be replaced by other low-profile interconnection solutions, i.e., fuzz buttons, leafs and Pogo-pin.
2. Miniaturization and low PIM trend of antenna RF interfaces
5G equipment is mainly based on small base stations. The miniaturization of equipment and the reduction of transmitting and receiving power require smaller interfaces. The development path of the RF antenna feed interface is as follows: DIN head (7/16) → N head → 4.3 / 10 → NEX10, or much smaller in the following stage. There are two versions of products available at present: threaded connection and quick-lock connection. The connector is protected from outdoor environment through new coating technology and an easy-to-use thermal contraction sleeve. In addition to this, as the RF channel distance reduces and the spectrum increases, the interference will become more prominent, and it will be more demanding for RF leakage and low PIM.
We have developed a full range of products including connectors, adapters, loads, and components to meet the market demands.
To catch up with the miniaturizing trend of 4G/5G equipment, we have also developed PM10 series for small cell small base stations and low-power RRUs in 2017. Compared with 4.3/10, they are (50%) smaller and has the benefits of high frequency (20GHz), low intermodulation (-166dBc@2×43dBm), threaded and quick-lock connections, compatibility to a maximum of ? “corrugated pipe cables, and outdoor applications at extreme weather conditions
Effectively reducing power consumption interconnections in data centers
Xiujuan Kuang, technical director of power interconnection in aerospace electronic field
Data center is an important infrastructure of the Internet, cloud computing, and big data industries that has entered the DC3.0 architecture stage and is showing a trend of large-scale, centralized, modular, intelligent, and green energy-efficient development. Energy consumption and cooling are the principal considerations for data center. In 2015, China's data centers consumed 100 billion kWh electricity, accounting for 1.5% of the national total. Open data centers have been gradually replaced by channel near-end cooling micromodules. With the increase of power density, integrated cooling micromodules for power supply and distribution will be the mainstream products of the future.
The packaging of power connectors is more compact than before in addition to meeting the growing current requirements. As for
The power distribution and interconnection between power modules, backplanes, carrier boards and daughter boards mostly in servers, high-end computers, switches, and storage devices are realized via Board to Board, Cable to Board, or Card Edge. Board to Board is further divided into vertical board, parallel board stacking, and orthogonal board interconnection. There are four orientations of development, specifically, standardization (PICMG ATCA/VITA), high current carrying, hot swapping, and modularization.
Wireless base station
Telecommunication refers to what we call "communications using wired, wireless, light or other electromagnetic systems", whereas data communication is "a new communication method resulting from the combination of communication technology and computer technology". Benefiting from the large-scale construction of LTE-based 4G mobile broadband networks and the expectation of 5G communications, the connectors in this field have grown rapidly in recent years.
The entire communication system is composed of networks in which information is transmitted, exchanged, stored, and processed. Wireless networks, wired networks, and data centers are interactive rather than completely independent.
Millimeter wave communication
In the field of telecommunications/data communications, RF connectors include antenna feeder, board-to-board interconnection, and standard I/O RF connectors. The product developing trends are miniaturization, floating blind plugging, quick locking, low PIM, non-protection and environment resistance, millimeter wave, mixed packaging/assembling, etc.
1. Floating blind-plugging connector between boards
Floating blind-plugging connectors include MMBX, MBX, SMP, SMP-MAX, etc. The fuzz button products will be interconnected between low-profile boards (minimum 1mm board spacing), and ceramic microwave substrates in particular will be extensively applied. Such products account for about 40% of the market share.
2. Quick lock connector
Our QL29 has been used in engineering domains.
3. Subminiature I-PEX connector
Punched connectors have effectively reduced the cost. The 5th generation has been developed and can be equipped with very fine coaxial cables.
4. Millimeter wave connector
Low cost connectors with frequencies over 30GHz such as 1.85, 1.0 series, and SSMP series will be suitable for 5G systems.