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Electronics 2019, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8010002

An FPGA-Oriented Baseband Modulator Architecture for 4G/5G Communication Scenarios

1
Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
2
Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, s/n 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 22 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hardware and Architecture)
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Abstract

The next evolution in cellular communications will not only improve upon the performance of previous generations, but also represent an unparalleled expansion in the number of services and use cases. One of the foundations for this evolution is the design of highly flexible, versatile, and resource-/power-efficient hardware components. This paper proposes and evaluates an FPGA-oriented baseband processing architecture suitable for communication scenarios such as non-contiguous carrier aggregation, centralized Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) processing, and 4G/5G waveform coexistence. Our system is upgradeable, resource-efficient, cost-effective, and provides support for three 5G waveform candidates. Exploring Dynamic Partial Reconfiguration (DPR), the proposed architecture expands the design space exploration beyond the available hardware resources on the Zynq xc7z020 through hardware virtualization. Additionally, Dynamic Frequency Scaling (DFS) allows for run-time adjustment of processing throughput and reduces power consumption up to 88%. The resource overhead for DPR and DFS is residual, and the reconfiguration latency is two orders of magnitude below the control plane latency requirements proposed for 5G communications. View Full-Text
Keywords: reconfigurable hardware; FPGA; dynamic partial reconfiguration; baseband processing; carrier aggregation; 4G/5G coexistence; cloud-RAN reconfigurable hardware; FPGA; dynamic partial reconfiguration; baseband processing; carrier aggregation; 4G/5G coexistence; cloud-RAN
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lopes Ferreira, M.; Canas Ferreira, J. An FPGA-Oriented Baseband Modulator Architecture for 4G/5G Communication Scenarios. Electronics 2019, 8, 2.

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