Cambridge Consultants demonstrates a world first in radio design

Technology innovation firm Cambridge Consultants has successfully completed initial trials of the world’s first fully digital radio transmitter – a turning point in wireless design and a real enabler for the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) and 5G technology. It’s a radio built purely from computing power, using the same familiar digital technology you’d find in a computer microprocessor in your home or office.

Unlike ‘software-defined radio’ (SDR), it’s not a mixture of analogue and digital components – for the first time, the radio is completely digital, which can enable new ways of using spectrum intelligently. The innovation is set to be hugely disruptive, like a previous Cambridge Consultants breakthrough – the development of the first single-chip Bluetooth radio, which led to the spinout of the global short-range wireless and audiovisual giant CSR.

The latest breakthrough – codenamed Pizzicato – unlocks the potential of the IoT. It  opens the door to a new dynamic way in which the predicted 100 billion IoT devices can operate together in a crowded radio spectrum. And it will enable the creation of 5G systems, with multiple radios and antennas.

The Pizzicato digital radio transmitter consists of an integrated circuit outputting a single stream of bits, and an antenna – with no conventional radio parts or digital-to-analogue converter. Patented algorithms perform the necessary ultra-fast computations in real time, making it possible for standard digital technology to generate high-frequency radio signals directly.

“Our first trial of the technology has created 14 simultaneous cellular base station signals,” said Monty Barlow, director of wireless technology at Cambridge Consultants. “But it is the potential which is so exciting. Like mainstream microprocessing, a Pizzicato-based radio would directly benefit from Moore’s Law – shrinking in cost, size and power consumption with each new generation of silicon fabrication.

“If we’re going to get high-speed broadband to every mobile phone in the world, we’ll need lots of tiny, high-performance radios in those phones. The radios will be squashed together in a way that analogue just doesn’t tolerate. Whereas a Pizzicato-like digital radio can follow Moore’s Law to smaller size and lower power consumption.

“It could also be programmed to generate almost any combination of signals at any carrier frequencies, nimbly adapting its behaviour in a way that is impossible in conventional radios. It is early days for this technology but we believe radio design has reached a turning point.”

In recent decades, wireless design teams such as Cambridge Consultants have employed extensive digital techniques in radios – and such SDRs have provided a tenfold improvement in the data rate that can be squeezed into a radio channel. But a more dramatic improvement is needed to cope with the growth in mobile broadband and the IoT.

Good radio spectrum is a scarce resource – only low frequencies (1GHz or lower) propagate well over distance or through walls, so they are in great demand. Greater efficiency requires the use of dynamic or ‘cognitive wireless’ techniques to sense the radio environment and switch parameters on the fly. This could give access to more of the estimated 90% of the allocated spectrum which is not in use at any one time.

Making use of the higher carrier frequencies of 10GHz and beyond, however, will require techniques such as meshing and beamforming to circumvent the inherently poor range – and the analogue parts of radios are becoming an increasing bottleneck.

“Crowding 50 analogue radios together on one chip, switching their operational parameters every few microseconds and expecting them to work at 60GHz is an analogue designer’s nightmare,” said Barlow. “With Pizzicato, we have created a glimpse of future disruptive technology – a radio built purely from computing power.”

Cambridge Consultants has one of the world’s largest independent wireless development teams, with more than 120 experts working in areas ranging from ultra-low-power short-range wireless connectivity to global satellite communication. During its 55-year history, the company has helped clients develop technology ranging from the world’s first wireless implanted pacing system to the ground-to-air radio system controlling air traffic over the majority of the planet.

Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating Pizzicato at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, March 2-5, stand 7B21 in Hall 7.

Notes to editors

ケンブリッジコンサルタンツは、画期的な製品開発、知的所有権の創出や供与、技術的な難題に対するビジネスコンサルティングを、世界中のお客様に向けて行っています。市場初となる製品の立ち上げや新規市場参入、新技術導入による既存市場の拡大など、お客様がビジネスチャンスを成功へと変えるお手伝いを60年以上にわたり継続してきました。英国ケンブリッジ、米国ボストン、東京、シンガポールに、エンジニアや科学者、数学者やデザイナーを含む900名以上のスタッフを擁し、医療機器、ライフサイエンス、産業機械、エネルギー、消費財、流通、通信、インフラストラクチャなど、多様な分野におけるソリューションを提供しています。詳細はwww.cambridgeconsultants.comをご参照ください。

ケンブリッジコンサルタンツは、デジタルイノベーション、コンサルティング、トランスフォーメーションを統合したグローバル・ビジネス・ライン、「キャップジェミニ・インベント」の一員です。キャップジェミニ・インベントは、経営責任者たちの構想、次の一手の策定支援を行います。世界中の30のオフィスと25のクリエイティブ・スタジオにある7,000以上の強力なチームで構成され、戦略、技術、データサイエンス、クリエイティブ設計領域において、市場をリードする専門家集団を組織します。

キャップジェミニ・インベントは、テクノロジーの力を活用して企業ビジネスの変革・管理を支援するパートナーシップにおけるグローバルリーダーである、キャップジェミニの一部門です。キャップジェミニ・グループは、テクノロジーを通して人々が持つエネルギーを解き放つことで、包摂的で持続可能な未来を目指し、日々まい進しています。世界約50ケ国の27万人に及ぶチームメンバーから成る、極めて多様的で責任感の強い組織です。キャップジェミニは、50年にわたって積み上げてきた経験と実績そして豊かな専門知識を活かし、クラウド、データ、AI、コネクティビティ、ソフトウェア、デジタルエンジニアリング、プラットフォームなど、急速に進化するイノベーティブなテクノロジーを原動力として、戦略から設計、オペレーションに至るまで、お客様の幅広いビジネスニーズすべてに対応して、お客様から厚い信頼をいただいています。グループ全体の2020年度の売上は、160億ユーロです。

Get the Future You Want – 望む未来を手に入れよう | www.capgemini.com

資料ダウンロード

pr-pr15-008_mainimag_v0.13.jpg, 0.5MB
pr-pr15-008_image_v0.13.jpg, 5.4MB

メディア関係者連絡先

WE Communications

Matt
Urquhart