Samsung, Beamforming to Boost 5G in Automobiles

The outside of a Samsung building.

The way we navigate and get around will change once again as 5G networks empower new possibilities in our automobiles. Everything from safety to logistics to comfort and even entertainment are areas in which will see growth and improvement because of the speed and the lower latency that can be achieved wirelessly through 5G. One of the companies leading these changes is Samsung.

Following its announcement in 2020 at CES of 5G-capable telematics control units (TCU) with BMW and Harman, beamforming is the newest breakthrough Samsung is looking to bring to the auto industry. Array antenna beamforming will be used to provide a stronger signal directed towards a specific area. By doing so, Samsung will be capable of overcoming the coverage issues and travel issues that mmWave signals have when transmitting data.

TCUs allow for better data communication by connecting automotive technologies and external networks to the internal electronics of an automobile. Though not yet commercialized, the breakthroughs are seen in Samsung’s Automotive mmWave 5G TCU helps implement mmWave into the 5G TCU via a chipset from Qualcomm. On top of the many obstacles, normal transmissions may face, creating an environment in which mmWave 5G can thrive when working with vehicles have yet another hurdle to face: moving at high speeds. As Samsung stated, “When it comes to providing large quantities of road information to the driver in real-time and implementing connected-car services, the ability of 5G mmWave to facilitate the transmission of large volumes of data at rapid speeds is crucial.”

There are many reasons to utilize mmWave 5G spectrum and the use of 5G in automobiles is a great example of most if not all of these reasons not only coming together to push innovation forward but coming together to simply make these capabilities possible. mmWave is the highest spectrum band used in 5G and allows the fastest data transfers with the lowest levels of latency due to wider channels. This will allow everything from self-driving cars, coverage for multiple automobiles at the same time, the ability for automobiles to communicate with each other, additional wireless features throughout cities to improve logistics and prevent accidents, and other new features altogether.

However there are some downfalls to mmWave technology. mmWave has a problem not only traveling farther distances but penetrating surfaces. This includes walls and other objects which can be detrimental when signal loss could mean the loss of imperative features while traveling at high speeds. This is one of the reasons beamforming is going to be a critical component to transmitting 5G to automobiles across the country. With over 1,000 mmWave antennas already deployed, automobiles traveling as fast as 125 mph can use these techniques to efficiently receive data.

Source: Fierce Wireless