Research Field

Optical beamforming network based on PIC for future mm-wave 5G/6G mobile communications

Optical beamforming arises as an alternative to the conventional electrical approach. Optical beamforming brings attractive benefits such as low insertion losses and large bandwidth transmission. These benefits position optical beamforming as a promising technology for the future mm-wave 5G/6G network. Lionix International designs and develops an optical beamfoming network (OBFN) in a photonic integrating circuit (PIC) capable of generating simultaneously four beams. This OBFN PIC allows tuning some of the building blocks: optical tunable filters and optical tunable coupler. With this tunability property, the OBFN PIC highlights its programmability characteristics. Furthermore, a thorough characterization of the proposed OBFN is carried out. The experimental measurements are in accordance with the expected values. Hence, the correct functioning of the proposed OBFN is proven with the experimental measurements, remarking the proposed OBFN architecture as an excellent solution to realize multiple beam transmission in a scalable manner. In the top figure, a photo of the PIC can be seen. While in the bottom figure, an architecture for the mm-wave fronthaul in 5G/6G networks is illustrated where the location of the OBFN is depicted.