Samsung has now revealed that with its major smartphone announcements out of the way, it will be taking to Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona to showcase new 5G base station technologies. Specifically, the company says it has finalized development on next-generation Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs) and Digital/Analog Front End (DAFE) application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The two components represent a key piece of the chips utilized in 5G base-stations.
Genuinely needed for the next mobile revolution
Samsung indicates that RFICs are an integral part of base station technology for 5G since, when placed in tandem and with thousands of radio antenna, they help to bolster the energy efficiency of a 5G base station. Moreover, the reduction in size and improvements to performance are required if 5G is to live up to its full potential.
The latest advancement on that front is built around a brand new 28nm CMOS semiconductor technology, expanding the maximum bandwidth to 1.4GHz from the previous maximum of 800MHz.
The new RFICs are also scaled back in size by around 36-percent, increasing performance and efficiency while also reducing "noise" generated. Development with the new RFICs has been completed for use with 28GHz and 39GHz frequencies and the company expects to commercialize RFICs for 24GHz and 47GHz before the end of the year.
The Korean tech giant's latest DAFE ASIC solution — pictured above — provides similar benefits, enabling more efficient analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversions. Both components allow power consumption, weight, and size reductions of around 25-percent.
Improving support for the Galaxy S10 5G and other handsets
Samsung credits 5G research and development as a key factor in the fact that it managed to move as many as 36,000 5G base stations in the US and Korea over the course of 2018. That success has, in turn, fed into an increasingly diverse range of next-generation service deployments from carriers — AT&T's widely decried 5G E service notwithstanding.
For now, the majority of those rollouts act more like hardline traditional networks than mobile service hubs but that only makes the work outlined by Samsung more important. That's especially true with consideration for the company's own efforts in the 5G space, although 5G will eventually bring vast improvements in latency, speed, and overall network breadth to end users across an array of devices from a multitude of OEMs.
Samsung's own initial 5G devices have already been officially announced in the meantime, in the form of a still-unreleased Galaxy Fold and its timed-Verizon exclusive Galaxy S10 5G. The company has arguably served the introduction of a new networking technology well with the former device but that's a first-generation device and won't be usable for another couple of months.
The new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is no slouch either. That handset will pack a quadruple-primary camera with a 3D depth sensor opposite the dual forward-facing snapper embedded under its 6.7-inch Infinity-O Display. On the inside, that will be powered by a 4,500mAh battery pack with 25-watt fast charging. Driving Android 9 Pie with One UI out of the box, Samsung has included 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage to back up a Qualcomm-built Snapdragon 855 SoC.