Explore the 5G physical layer | Ericsson Research Blog

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Explore the 5G physical layer

At the heart of the new 5G mobile communications is a brand new wireless access technology, the 5G New Radio (NR), that will connect 5G radio base stations with various types of 5G devices. Our new book, 5G Physical Layer, explains the fundamental physical layer principles, models and components for 5G NR. Let’s give you a preview!

5G Physical Layer is written for system designers and researchers in the field of mobile radio communications. We assume that the reader has a basic understanding of digital wireless communications, however, familiarity with cellular standards, for example 4G LTE, is not required. Many concepts presented in the book are of fundamental nature and applicable even beyond 5G.

A preview of the book is sketched out in the figure below, highlighting key aspects of 5G Physical Layer covered in nine different chapters.

Preview of the book

  • Chapter 1 introduces 5G NR and discusses global efforts in the development of 5G NR and its future impact on industry and society. We provide a holistic view on 5G use cases and their requirements, spectrum allocations, standardization, field trials, and future commercial deployments.
  • Chapter 2 gives an overview of the 5G NR physical layer based on the first 3GPP NR release. We show that the physical layer components of NR are flexible, ultra-lean and forward-compatible. Moreover, we provide an overview of radio wave propagation and hardware impairment related challenges associated with enabling a high performing NR.
  • Chapter 3 presents state of the art insights on radio wave propagation along with description of fundamental concepts and propagation characteristics. We focus on the frequency dependency of the channel properties for the full range of frequencies envisioned for 5G NR, with experimental examples. The channel modeling for 5G NR is discussed. Moreover, we point out both validated and non-validated (or deficient) aspects of the current 5G channel models defined by 3GPP and ITU-R.
  • Chapter 4 covers behavioral models for power amplifiers, local oscillators and data converters. These models may accurately predict the input-output relation of analogue and mixed-signal components. Furthermore, a novel modeling approach is presented that provides the second order statistics of the errors caused by non-ideal components. This stochastic modeling framework provides a powerful tool for link-level evaluations and aid in making sound choices in terms of radio performance versus energy efficiency trade-offs.
  • Chapter 5 presents state-of-the art multi-carrier waveforms. Based on the design requirements for NR, the chapter provides an overall waveform comparison that has led to the down-selection of OFDM waveform for 5G NR. The multi-carrier waveforms are compared on a number of key performance indicators: phase noise robustness, baseband complexity, frequency localization, time localization, robustness to power amplifier non-linearities, channel time selectivity and channel frequency selectivity.
  • Chapter 6 presents a flexible OFDM for 5G NR. Different factors involved in the implementation of OFDM based NR modems are discussed, for example, quality of service requirements, type of deployment, carrier frequency, user mobility, hardware impairments, and implementation aspects. The chapter puts special focus on high carrier frequencies (e.g., millimeter-wave band), where robustness to hardware impairments (phase noise, synchronization errors) and power efficiency of waveform is crucial.
  • Chapter 7 discusses the role of multi-antenna techniques in 5G NR and the features included in the first release of the NR specifications. To provide an understanding and motivation of the features adopted by NR, the fundamental theory behind these features is provided. The viability of the presented multi-antenna techniques is illustrated by several experimental examples.
  • Chapter 8 presents different channel coding schemes for 5G NR. The performance of the coding schemes is evaluated for different block-length values. We review recently developed information-theoretic tools to benchmark the performance of these coding schemes. Looking beyond what is currently standardized in NR, we consider transmissions over multi-antenna fading channels and highlight the importance of exploiting frequency and spatial diversity through the use of space-frequency codes, in applications that require high reliability.
  • Chapter 9 presents an open-source simulator that includes hardware impairments models (power amplifier, oscillator phase noise), a geometry-based stochastic channel model, and modulation/demodulation modules of state-of-the art waveforms. The chapter provides simulation exercises with various waveforms subject to different types of impairments.

The book can be ordered online at Elsevier homepage and major bookstores.

Also check out the recently published book 5G NR: The Next Generation Wireless Access Technology, by Ericsson Research colleagues Stefan Parkvall, Erik Dahlman and Johan Sköld.

A list of books by Ericsson authors is available on the Ericsson web.

Ali Zaidi

Ali Zaidi joined Ericsson in 2014, where he is currently a strategic product manager for Internet-of-Things and Mobile Broadband. In the past, he has worked with concept development and standardization of radio access technologies (NR and LTE-Advanced Pro). His research focuses on mmWave communications, indoor positioning, device-to-device communications, and systems for intelligent transportation and networked control. He holds an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in telecommunications from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Zaidi is currently serving as a member of the Technology Intelligence Group Radio and a member of the Young Advisory Board at Ericsson Research.

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Ali Zaidi

Fredrik Athley

Dr. Fredrik Athley is a Senior Researcher in the Antenna Systems group at Ericsson Research. He joined Ericsson in 1993 working with radar system design as a Specialist in array signal processing. Since 2005 he has been at Ericsson Research working with antenna systems analysis. Dr. Athley holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in electrical engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, and the International Diploma of Imperial College from Imperial College, London, UK.

Fredrik Athley

Jonas Medbo

Jonas Medbo is a senior specialist in applied propagation at Ericsson Research. He joined Ericsson in 1986 as a software engineer. From 1989 he conducted part time particle physics research for his PhD degree which he received in 1997. He rejoined Ericsson in 1997 as a member of the propagation research team. Currently Jonas Medbo is one of the leading radio wave propagation experts worldwide. He has contributed vital parts of important channel models ranging from Hiperlan/2, METIS and mmMAGIC. Recently he has contributed significantly to the 3GPP 5G channel model 38.901, and has been a main driver for new ITU-R propagation models which are critical for IMT 2020 spectrum allocation. In 2012, he and his team won an award for best propagation paper by the premier European conference on antennas and propagation, EuCAP.

Jonas Medbo

Ulf Gustavsson

Ulf Gustavsson is currently a senior specialist with Ericsson Research where his research areas include signal processing techniques for radio hardware impairment mitigation and behavioral modeling of radio hardware for future advanced antenna systems. Dr. Gustavsson is currently the lead scientist from Ericsson Research in the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Industrial Doctorate Innovative Training Network, SILIKA. He received an M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, in 2006, and a Ph.D. degree from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2011.

Ulf Gustavsson