The 5G SwaP-C project aims to revolutionise wireless communication technology by developing high-frequency and energy-efficient ultra wide band gap power amplifiers for massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) systems.
Total project funding amount: £1,211,896
Project date(s): -
Category: Government Funded
Location(s): South Wales & Ipswich
- Space Forge
- Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult
The 5G SwaP-C project aims to revolutionise wireless communication technology by developing high-frequency and energy-efficient ultra wide band gap power amplifiers for massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) systems. These systems are essential for the growth and capacity of the UK's mobile telecommunications network.
The project brings together the Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult , Space Forge and BT to collaborate on this ground-breaking research and development endeavour. The key focus is on producing and utilising alternative ultra wide band gap materials alongside RF GaN to create state of the art, efficient power amplifiers.
The use of alternative wide band gap materials in Radio Frequency Gallium Nitride power amplifiers offers significant advantages in thermal efficiency. This enables the devices to operate at higher frequencies and faster speeds, meeting the increasing demands for wireless bandwidth in the 5G and future 6G networks. By leveraging the exceptional thermal properties of wide band gap materials, these power amplifiers can run more efficiently, resulting in reduced power consumption and improved overall system cost for telecom operators like BT.
The project aligns with the UK's strategic goals of creating a sovereign supply chain for wireless infrastructure components, ensuring the security and resilience of the country's telecommunications network. By developing advanced power amplifier technologies and enhancing energy efficiency in radio units, the project aims to lower operational costs and provide globally competitive mobile services.
Overall, the 5G SWaP-C project aims to pave the way for advanced wireless communication systems, delivering faster and more efficient connectivity while supporting the UK's economic growth and national security.
Fraser Burton, Senior Manager – Network Physics, BT said:
“BT are delighted to be supporting the UK component supply chain on this cutting edge project. This will provide greater supply chain resilience and enable us to steer innovation to gain global competitive advantage. There is clear demand for high-performance energy-efficient 5G/6G components. The project will fabricate and characterise new technical RF front ends to show the operational benefits for network operators. We will measure the performance uplift as a function of frequency with enhanced thermal interface materials and cooling. Novel material fabrication can significantly reduce the energy consumption of terrestrial wireless communications whilst also delivering improved RF performance.”
Alastair McGibbon, Head of Business Development, Space Forge said:
“Space Forge is delighted to be supporting this project. This is a significant opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of how in-space manufacturing can produce materials that can significantly improve the thermal performance, energy efficiency and footprint of 5G components and systems. As a highly innovative SME that is filling a significant gap in UK materials capability, the ONE programme offers a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate a high-value all-UK supply chain for 5G solutions.”