5G

5G communication module with C-V2X features

1st April 2021
Alex Lynn

Alps Alpine has developed the UMNZ1 Series 5G NR Module for automotive use. Sample shipments began in March with aims to accelerate social implementation of 5G solutions for automobiles. Fifth generation (5G) mobile communications technology featuring ultra-fast speeds, ultra-low latency and mass connectivity has a vital role to play within communications infrastructure of future society.

The automotive industry is well poised to benefit from the technology given the major transformation already underway characterised by the CASE trends of connected cars, autonomous driving, sharing and services, and electrification.

Used in combination with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) systems giving vehicles the capability to communicate and interact with everything around them, such as road infrastructure, other vehicles and pedestrians, 5G is expected to contribute to greater sophistication of IVI (In Vehicle Infotainment); for example, real-time integration of traffic conditions into navigation applications and instant downloading of high-definition video to watch on a cabin display.

It will also spur integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technology that will improve the efficiency of car maintenance and inspections by keeping an eye on the condition of a vehicle via a range of different sensors. One highly anticipated application is in enabling functions essential for fully autonomous driving that existing V2X systems have been unable to sufficiently support, such as adjusting speed in response to traffic signals and other vehicles on the road.

There are calls for automotive communication systems that make use of V2X systems and 5G technology to be quickly established. But first, obstacles need to be overcome. Communication functionality that is even more advanced than existing 4G LTE technology and higher functionality that comes from V2X capability demand complex processing that can lead to modules overheating, affecting their ability to perform to their full potential. Modules also tend to get bigger with increased functionality, creating a need to optimise module design for mounting to customer circuits. It is a complicated task necessitating considerable development resources and that is a major barrier to commercialisation.

The newly developed UMNZ1 Series 5G NR Module for automotive use with C-V2X features, is compliant with 3GPP Release 15. By suppressing heat generation and employing an original structure for greater dissipation of heat inside systems after mounting, module performance is maximised at all times.

Stability of the customer’s mounting process is also made possible with an original automotive-grade product design achieved by controlling the module’s flatness. In addition, the module has compatibility with the varying frequencies used by specifications worldwide, helping to reduce the development workload for customers.  

Shipments of module samples began in March and soon customers will be using the modules to advance social implementation of next-generation communication solutions based on V2X systems and 5G.

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