5G speeds up digitalization and reduces energy use

The public discussion of 5G often focuses on smartphones and the improvement of data flow from one device to another. But 5G is much more than an improved 4G: Its ultra-reliability and ultra-low latency in nearly real-time data transmission make a new generation of vertical applications possible, especially for Industry 4.0. The fifth mobile radio generation enables higher data throughput, more bandwidth and faster downloads. 5G is able to fulfill different requirements at the same time, such as providing critical traffic information in a car and video streaming in just one physical network by “network slicing” or private networks operated by a public operator or any new private service provider.

Eventually 5G will connect and automate everything with everything, known as IoT (Internet of Things) and related to verticals as IIoT (Industrial IoT) via mobile radio. To manage these increase in possibilities and energy demand by 5G devices and networks, energy saving semiconductor-enabled power management solutions have become a crucial task.

5G technology designed to support energy efficiency

Good examples of 5G private wireless networks are major sea-ports: Containers find their way automatically, with machinery weighing tons running smoothly and efficiently. Employees know the status of their operations at all times. They steer complex machines via remote control and screens, with virtual reality or autonomous vehicles, while the latency of data transmission is nearly zero. The machines can execute commands in real time. As in ports, 5G allows wireless factories unseen flexibility to configure and control machines in real time with IoT applications.

With all these applications, mobile traffic is expected to grow exponentially; It goes without saying that energy consumption should not. 5G therefore requires a new network dimensioning to optimize energy consumption. This includes efficient energy-saving solutions for an entire site and the entire network. Traditional radio base stations consume 80 percent of the energy, although they spend most of the time inactive or without transmitting. To achieve the lowest energy consumption for sites and the entire 5G network, operators have to pay attention to the efficiency of individual components, but also to the entire link and the whole site.

Power-saving technologies for macro base stations

Previous mobile wireless standards used energy inefficiently for system broadcasts, to run idle resources and to power cooling systems and lighting systems. 5G technology comprises power-saving features to improve the energy efficiency of mobile networks significantly, for example by small cell deployments, innovative 5G architecture and protocols, and sleep modes at low load. Also, the 5G hardware technology, in particular radio frequency and power technology, is expected to improve the energy consumption of both 4G/LTE and 5G macro base stations.

Application page: Telecom infrastructure

Product page: Radio frequency and wireless control

Market news: New gate driver ICs for 5G and LTE macro base stations

Video: Maximizing antenna efficiency with antenna tuners

Infineon portfolio for an efficient 5G

Infineon provides a portfolio of components that significantly impact the energy efficiency for network operators and telecommunication providers. Our components deal with the whole power flow of 5G devices, computing and networks including features such as sleep modes for non-transmitting radio stations, spanning across ACDC, DCDC and radio frequency systems. Infineon solutions enable higher capacity, improved power distribution, optimized backup power of batteries in size and weight and effective cooling solutions for network constructions.

In particular, traditional power supplies and backup power cannot meet the requirements of the 5G era. Site power management needs to be centered on the power supply to implement collaboration between the power supply and site devices such as batteries, air conditioners, mains and linkage between the power supply and network loads. In the 5G era, we are witnessing the evolution from traditional power to intelligent power with a 5G architecture based on Cloud and AI. Infineon solutions enable this smart collaboration on the module-level as well as on the site-level.

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