ZTE Communications ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (3): 20-25.DOI: 10.12142/ZTECOM.202003004

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A Novel 28 GHz Phased Array Antenna for 5G Mobile Communications

LI Yezhen1, REN Yongli1, YANG Fan1(), XU Shenheng1, ZHANG Jiannian2   

  1. 1.Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
    2.Beijing Actenna Technology Co. , Ltd. , Beijing 100089, China
  • Received:2020-07-16 Online:2020-09-25 Published:2020-11-03
  • About author:LI Yezhen received the M.S. degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China in 2016. In 2017, he joined the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, as an engineer. His current research interests include micro-strip antenna design, reflectarray and microwave circuits.|REN Yongli received the M.S. degree from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, China in 2014. In 2018, he joined the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, as an engineer. Her current research interests include reflectarray design, microwave and THz circuits.|YANG Fan (fan_yang@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn) received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, China and the Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA. He joined the Electrical Engineering Department, University of Mississippi, USA, as an assistant professor and was promoted to an associate professor in 2009. In 2011, he joined the Electronic Engineering Department, Tsinghua University, as a professor. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 journal articles and conference articles, six book chapters, and five books. Dr. YANG is an ACES Fellow, IEEE Fellow, and a recipient of several prestigious awards and recognition, including the Young Scientist Awards of the 2005 URSI General Assembly and of the 2007 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Theory, the 2008 Junior Faculty Research Award of the University of Mississippi, the 2009 Inaugural IEEE Donald G. Dudley Jr. Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the 2011 Recipient of Global Experts Program of China. He was the Technical Program Committee (TPC) Chair of 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting. He is also an IEEE APS Distinguished Lecturer from 2018 to 2020. His current research interests include antennas, surface electromagnetics, computational electromagnetics and applied electromagnetic systems.|XU Shenheng received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Southeast University, China in 2001 and 2004, respectively and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA in 2009. From 2000 to 2004, he was a research assistant with the State Key Laboratory of Millimeter Waves, Southeast University, China. From 2004 to 2011, he was a graduate student researcher and then became a post-doctoral researcher with the Antenna Research, Analysis, and Measurement Laboratory, UCLA. In 2012, he joined the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, as an associate professor. His current research interests include novel designs of high-gain antennas for advanced applications, artificial electromagnetic structures, and electromagnetic and antenna theories.|ZHANG Jiannian received the B.S degree from Tsinghua University, China. He has 20 years of experience in system development. He was a senior engineer with the State Key Laboratory of Microwave and Digital Communication of Tsinghua University. He was the head of the System Department of Analogix Semiconductor, Inc., USA. Now he is the CEO of Beijing Actenna Technology Co., Ltd.


A novel phased array antenna consisting of 256 elements is presented and experimentally verified for 5G millimeter-wave wireless communications. The antenna integrated with a wave control circuit can perform real-time beam scanning by reconfiguring the phase of an antenna unit. The unit, designed at 28 GHz using a simple patch structure with one PIN diode, can be electronically controlled to generate 1 bit phase quantization. A prototype of the antenna is fabricated and measured to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach. The measurement results indicate that the antenna achieves high gain and fast beam-steering, with the scan beams within ±60° range and the maximum gain up to 21.7 dBi. Furthermore, it is also tested for wireless video transmission. In ZTE Shanghai, the antenna was used for the 5G New Radio (NR) test. The error vector magnitude (EVM) is less than 3% and the adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) less than -35 dBc, which can meet 5G system requirements. Compared with the conventional phased array antenna, the proposed phased array has the advantages of low power consumption, low cost and conformal geometry. Due to these characteristics, the antenna is promising for wide applications in 5G millimeter-wave communication systems.

Key words: 5G mobile communications, millimeter wave, phased array antenna