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Fujitsu unveils 10Gbps single-panel 5G antenna

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(Image: Fujitsu)

Fujitsu Laboratories has unveiled a single-panel antenna designed to enable multiple 5G connections on a small, energy-efficient base station, saying it could be used across train stations and stadiums.

The antenna provides speeds of more than 10Gbps across four simultaneous 2.5Gbps signals, using the millimetre-wave (mmWave) 28GHz 5G spectrum band, with 128 antenna elements, and 16 phased array chips that fit onto a single 13cm square printed circuit board.

“Conventional 5G system structures require use of an antenna panel for each terminal when simultaneously transmitting to multiple terminals. Now, by controlling with high accuracy the phase (angle) of signals separately emitted from 128 antenna elements, Fujitsu Laboratories has suppressed the interference between signals,” the company explained.

“Currently, to avoid radio wave interference during communications with multiple users at once, base stations have been configured to use a number of antenna panels corresponding to the number of concurrent users. To miniaturise the equipment so that it can be deployed anywhere, the best option is to provide multi-directional transmissions from a single antenna panel.”

To achieve this, Fujitsu developed a phased array chip that is able to regulate the phase of a signal propagated with an accuracy of one degree or less from an antenna element. It then built one phased array chip per eight antenna elements into the panel.

“The company also uses circuitry that detects the differences in phase between phased array chips, which enables highly accurate phase control for any size antenna panel that has between 64 and 256 antenna elements,” it said.

“As a result, by holding the difference in undesired emissions intruding between one radio wave communicating with a device and another radio wave with another device to 20dB or more, it makes it possible for a single antenna panel to carry out high-capacity communications of 10Gbps or more.”

Fujitsu is planning to commercialise the technology in 2021.

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(Image: Fujitsu)

The announcement follows the company last month signing a 5G partnership with networking giant Ericsson, with plans to combine their radio access and core network portfolios to deliver 5G mobile network services and solutions across Japan.

“Ericsson and Fujitsu’s strength in research and development will ensure the best path for bringing global 5G solutions to Japan, as well as exploring a wider global market,” the companies said in November.

Fujitsu will provide open and standards-based “flexible 5G network systems” using its wireless technology expertise, Fujitsu EVP and head of Network Business Group Tango Matsumoto said.

Fujitsu’s previous work on 5G saw it kick off a field trial last year of its 5G ultra high-density distributed antenna technology and tests of simultaneous high-speed transmission of high-res video using the antenna system, in partnership with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo.

Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories, which have been working on 5G trials with NTT DoCoMo since 2014, have also collaborated with the Japanese carrier on evaluating communications speed for distributed antennas deployed at multiple outdoor locations.

“The testing system consists of two mobile stations equipped with displays that can be moved around the interior of Fujitsu Shin-Kawasaki Technology Square, as well as equipment including distributed antennas installed in 16 locations, centralised baseband processing equipment that controls the distributed antennas, and fibre-optic cables connecting the distributed antennas with the centralised baseband processing equipment,” Fujitsu explained in November 2017.

Fujitsu’s ultra-high density distributed antenna technology “actively controls the shape of cells, which are the range of a signal, in order to improve communication quality for mobile stations through centralised control of base station antennas distributed around a space at high density”, it said.

Fujitsu said the 32 distributed antennas can be controlled by the centralised baseband processing devices. This is done by using signal processing equipment that aggregates digital signals — transmitted and received — from several different distributed antennas while preventing signal interference.

Fujitsu also unveiled its millimetre-wave (mmWave) phase shifter for small cells a year ago, which it said delivers the 10Gbps connections required by 5G, while maintaining low power usage.

According to Fujitsu, its phase shifters reduced the number of amps needed by combining switching circuits with differential amps, and using a new mmWave circuit limited the electrical loss of circuits.

Its small cell technology — which Fujitsu said it was looking to offer by 2020 — also makes use of beam-forming, with the company saying it controls 128 antenna elements.

Earlier this month, Fujitsu also said it is working on developing palm vein and facial data authentication technology, with the integrated biometric identification capabilities pointing to a cashless society.

According to Fujitsu, its Laboratories have developed a simulation algorithm enabling instant facial recognition processing.

Related Coverage

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5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

As LTE networks become increasingly saturated, mobile network operators are planning for the 5G future. Here is what business professionals and mobile users need to know about 5G networks.

Ericsson and Fujitsu partner on 5G

Ericsson and Fujitsu will combine their expertise across radio access and core network technology to offer 5G services and solutions across Japan and globally.

Fujitsu develops palm vein and facial data authentication technology

The company hopes to make the technology ‘practical’ within fiscal 2020.

Quick glossary: 5G technology

5G will be the key to unlocking the full potential of IoT and a host of other technologies. Businesses can get a jump on their competition if they apply the power of 5G to their products and services first.

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2022 Honda Passport is hitting the rally circuit

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The 2022 Honda Passport is hitting the rally circuit as the Japanese automaker fortifies its motorsports pedigree. And similar to the Honda HPD Ridgeline that competed at the recently concluded Rebelle Rally, the Passport is going rallying with a team of Honda engineers led by suspension test engineer and driver Chris Sladek and chassis design engineer and co-driver Gabriel Nieves. Both men are from Honda’s North American Auto Development Center in East Liberty, Ohio.

Honda recently debuted its redesigned 2022 Passport five-seat crossover SUV, which now gets a more rugged TrailSport variant with chunkier aesthetics, 18-inch wheels, and 8.1-inches of ground clearance. However, the rally version is the brainchild of the Honda Performance Development (HPD) Maxxis Rally racing team. It has 17-inch BRAID Winrace T rally wheels, Maxxis RAZR M/T or RAZR A/T tires, rear differential skid plates, and an aluminum oil pan cover to protect vital underpinnings from impacts and bumps.

Other changes include protective high-density polyethylene panels on the fuel tank, Carbotech XP12 brake pads, and racing-bred brake fluid to offer reliable stopping power. It also has OMP racing seats with six-point competition harnesses, a roll cage, a rally computer, and a fire suppression system. Of course, it gets distinctive exterior livery courtesy of HPD.

The Passport rally car is also lighter than stock with Lexan polycarbonate rear glass and deleted rear seats. Other changes like a hydraulic handbrake are mandatory, while the modified exhaust offers a louder exhaust sound while reducing engine backpressure to improve performance.

Meanwhile, there are no changes under the hood. The 2022 Honda Passport rally car is hitting the rally circuits with a stock 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, and i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. “The fact that we didn’t make any modifications to the 2022 Honda Passport’s drivetrain or suspension for such punishing terrain and competition speaks volumes to the capability and performance that comes standard in the Passport,” said driver Chris Sladek.

Honda’s Passport rally truck made its racing debut at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) in Michigan last October 15 to 16. The team finished 22nd out of 42 regional competitors while placing 4th out of six in the Limited 4WD class. The Passport will see more action throughout the 2022 American Rally Association (ARA) series.

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The 2022 Honda Civic Si aims right for the sweet-spot

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Honda promised something hotter from the 11th Gen Civic line, and the 2022 Civic Si is just that. Taking the well-received Civic Sedan, and then pumping in some extra performance, it should bridge the gap between now and the new Civic Type R expected to launch sometime next year – and be more affordable than that car, too.

It’s got some solid underpinnings to start from, with both the Civic Sedan and the Civic Hatchback getting praise for their handling and poise. This new Civic Si, meanwhile, upgrades Honda’s turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder VTEC engine, and then pairs it with a 6-speed manual transmission.

The engine is good for 200 horsepower arriving at 6,000 rpm, with a 6,500 rpm redline. Torque is 192 lb-ft, now arriving between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm; that, Honda points out, is 300 rpm sooner than the outgoing car. The broader power curve and a lighter flywheel should make for a car that responds more rapidly, the automaker promises.

As for the transmission, it’s an improved 6-speed manual with the rev-matching system from the Civic Type R. The result, Honda says, is a better feel and 10-percent shorter throws. You’ll have to like it, mind, since Honda won’t be offering the 2022 Civic Si with an automatic option. Fuel economy comes in at 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined.

A helical limited-slip front differential is standard, along with a new Active Sound Control system which boosts the natural engine noise in the cabin. Honda insists it’ll add to, rather than detract from, the overall driving experience. Bigger brakes have been fitted, with 12.3-inch front rotors growing a whole 1.2-inches over the standard Civic Sedan, while the rear rotors grow almost an inch to 11.1-inches total. 235/40R18 all-season performance rubber is standard, with summer tires a factory option.

As with the Sedan and Hatchback, the new Si benefits from the 11th Gen Civic’s stiffer body and longer wheelbase. Honda then adds 8-percent stiffer front springs and 54-percent stiffer rear springs, together with new dampers, reinforced upper front MacPherson struts for better cornering, and thicker front and rear stabilizer bars to cut body roll. The Type R donates compliance bushings, upper arms, and lower B-arms, while steering gets an upgrade courtesy of a stiffer torsion bar.

There are still Normal and Sport drive modes, but an Individual mode has been added. That allows the driver to choose their mix of engine response, steering weight, and instrumentation theme settings.

Outside, there’s a new upper front bumper, a reworked rear bumper with twin oval exhaust tips, a front spoiler, and a gloss black rear spoiler. More gloss black appears on the mirrors and window surrounds, and Honda makes LED lighting front and rear standard, too. 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels – in an Si-specific matte black – are standard, too, and the Blazing Orange Pearl paint is exclusive to the car as well.

Inside, Si-exclusive sport seats with integrated head restraints and more shoulder and lower thigh support are included, along with sport pedals and red contrast stitching. The honeycomb dash panel is carried over, but with red trim now. A 7-inch driver display and 9-inch infotainment touchscreen are standard, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Honda also adds the 12-speaker Bose audio system, and Honda Sensing is standard, too.

Pricing will be confirmed closer to the 2022 Civic Si’s arrival in dealerships later in 2021.

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Toyota Tacozilla inspired by 1970s Chinook campervans to debut at SEMA

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We bet you haven’t heard of the Toyota Chinook campervan, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be looking forward to Toyota’s Tacozilla campervan concept at this year’s SEMA show in November. The Toyota Chinook is a collaboration between the Japanese automaker and American wagon maker Chinook RV. The first Toyota Chinooks entered the market in 1973 and were essentially motorhomes with a pop-up roof built on a long-wheelbase Toyota half-ton truck chassis.

And since it’s a Toyota, Chinook campervans have the same bulletproof reliability as Toyota trucks. The folks at Toyota’s motorsports tech center in Texas created Tacozilla with the Chinook in mind, but it now has a more contemporary design to cope with seriously rugged terrain.

Starting with a Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport manual, the team conceptualized a bed-mounted micro-house with a cab-over design and a stubby rear end to lessen the approach and departure angles, making it effortless to find a suitable camping spot in the wild outdoors. According to project manager Marty Schwerter, Tacozilla will be sleeker, more aerodynamic, and more fuel-efficient than any Toyota Chinook before it, not to mention more off-road capable than ever before.

Toyota claims the camper is tall enough for a six-foot two-inch person to stand while cooking meals in the built-in kitchenette. The home quarters will also have a table, a standard toilet, and a two-person bed. Tacozilla will also come in a unique retro-inspired red, white, and orange livery as those vintage Chinook campervans. “Racecars are cool looking,” added Schwerter. “I want campers to be cool looking, too.”

And while the old Chinooks were motivated by Toyota’s 18R motor, Tacozilla will have a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine with 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The initial rendering also features unique off-road wheels and chunkier Cooper Discoverer all-terrain tires.

Unlike other concepts, the Toyota Tacozilla is as real as it gets. The automaker is working overtime in finishing the prototype just in time for the 2021 SEMA Show this November 2 to 5, 2021. The question is, can we expect Tacozillas at Toyota dealerships soon? If Toyota did it in the early 1970s, we could see no reason it won’t be doing it again. But will Tacozilla be as cool as those retrolicious Chinook camper vans? We’ll have to wait for SEMA to find out.

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