AEThER - Spectrally agile solutions for reconfigurable and sustainable transceivers for next generation wireless communications systems

Start: 01 January 2015
End: 31 December 2017
Funding: National
Status: Ongoing
Division: Communication Technologies
Department: Physical-layer Implementation of High Performance Communication Systems (PHYCOM)

In this project, different key enabling technologies of next generation (5G) networks are addressed in order to cope not only with the demand of mobile data traffic worldwide that is expected during the next years until 2020, but also with the flexibility and reconfigurability capabilities that the heterogeneous nature of 5G systems will impose on communicating devices. First, this project will propose the design of new spectrally efficient 5G waveforms  for radio access network (RAN) transceiver equipment that will be capable of communicating in fragmented spectrum scenarios and in the presence of interference. Furthermore considering the need to support the increasing traffic due to the densification of small cells, this project will also deal with the improvement of existing radio transceivers in many application scenarios (operating at RF/microwave and millimetre wave bands). To that end, in the digital domain, power amplifier linearization techniques will be studied for very high bandwidth signals, in order to reduce CAPEX and OPEX costs. In the analog domain, this project will study and implement a frequency detector, which will be used to assess the presence of used and unused spectral regions, which will facilitate the frequency agile operation techniques proposed in this project. More concretely, this project will study, design, prototyping and experimental validation of:

  • Efficient and adaptive HW/SW baseband processing function partitioning (through the use of System-on-Chip (SoC), general-purpose processors, datacenters for C-RAN or hybrid solutions),
  • 4G-5G MIMO transmission strategies (based on OFDM and FBMC waveforms, respectively, whose performance is going to be compared) in coexistence with other narrowband signals (e.g., PMR communications),
  • Crest-factor-reduction and predistortion techniques for RAN network elements (e.g., 4G-5G base station transmitters) and also for backhaul transceivers (M-QAM waveforms with intra-band and inter-band channel aggregation) where the wide signal bandwidth  poses numerous challenges at baseband, signal conversion and RF level, especially at microwave and millimetre wave frequency bands,
  • A low-consumption microelectromechanic device that will be equipped with a reconfigurable antenna and the above mentioned frequency detector circuit.

AEThER is funded by the Spanish ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the funding scheme “Proyectos de I+D+I Retos investigación 2014”, Reference TEC2014-58341-C4-4-R.


Disclaimer: The logo of the project was created using MS Visio and the following CC clipart accessed at Cloud Computing (mrallowski), Nexus 5 stylized (JOhannski), Mixed-antenna Cell Tower (enmaskarado), Intracell frequency reuse (zinka), Analog to Digital (pgbrandolin), dsp (pgbrandolin), parabolic antenna 1 (jcartier), Sine wave addition (pnx).

  • Universidad de Zaragoza
  • UPC
  • Universidad de Cantabria