Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has updated its RadioVerse design ecosystem and claims it can simplify and accelerate radio development for wireless carriers and telecommunications equipment manufacturers as they transition their cellular base stations from 4G to 5G networks.

The expanded RadioVerse portfolio features new radio transceiver hardware, software tools and a design environment that enables the smaller, lower power radios necessary in next generation networks. The offering allows customers to evaluate and develop radio designs for 4G small cell and Pre-5G massive MIMO systems, key building blocks in the transition to 5G, enabling fast data rates while improving connectivity and data throughput in densely populated, high-traffic areas such as office buildings, sport stadiums, and public transit systems.

The updated RadioVerse release includes the AD9375 RF transceiver to address radio design at the circuit, architecture, system, and software levels. According to Analog Devices, the AD9375 is the first RF transceiver to incorporate the digital pre-distortion (DPD) algorithm on-chip—a design that reduces DPD power consumption by 90%.

The re-partitioning of the DPD system from the FPGA to the transceiver cuts the number of JESD204B serial data interface lanes in half, resulting in power savings particularly as the number of antennas per base station increases from two to 128 in support of Pre-5G massive MIMO radio-channel density requirements. Other benefits include a more compact radio circuit layout, which simplifies routing and system design, reduces base station size, and allows designers to use a lower-cost, less complex FGPA. In small cells these benefits allow more frequency bands per cell for increased network capacity, while minimising the impact to system power consumption and size, Analog Devices noted.

The AD9375 transceiver enables a common radio platform design that is tuneable over a range of 300MHz to 6GHz, operates on a 6Gbps JESD204B interface and consumes less than 5Watts. Similar to the AD9371, the AD9375 has two 100MHz receivers, two 250MHz transmitters, a two-input observation receiver and a three-input sniffer receiver. The transceiver’s integrated DPD solution supports 3G and 4G waveforms with an instantaneous signal bandwidth of up to 40MHz.

In addition to the AD9375, the RadioVerse transceiver hardware portfolio features wideband devices for base station architectures ranging from macro- to pico- and femto-cell form factors, in addition to ultra-low power, narrowband transceivers for industrial Internet of Things applications that require long range, network robustness, and long battery life.

The RadioVerse technology and design ecosystem includes a new small-cell radio reference design with a full AD9375-enabled JESD204B-to-antenna radio signal chain. Developed in partnership with Benetel Ltd, the reference design supports 2x2 20MHz LTE with 250mW output-power-per-antenna and consumes less than 10W, all in a small form factor measuring 88x83mm.

Analog Device's RadioVerse prototyping platforms also provide advanced simulation and analysis of the transceiver using MATLAB and Simulink modelling software, device drivers, and full evaluation systems that directly connect to FPGA development platforms, and third-party hardware.