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Vodafone and iPronics showcase photonic radio unit at Mobile World Congress

iPronics says this development was enabled by programmable photonics, which it has developed in partnership with Vodafone

iPronics, a startup focusing on programmable PICs, has announced that its technology will be displayed at Vodafone’s stand at Mobile World Congress 2024, which is being held from 26-29 February.

New generations of 5G/6G Radio Access Networks (RAN) will require technologies that can increase speed while reducing power consumption and latency. Vodafone showcases how photonics can replace some of the electronic hardware in radio units (RUs), eliminating optical-electrical conversions and moving processing to the optical domain, scaling down infrastructure and enabling the implementation of AI-defined energy-saving strategies.

At Mobile World Congress 2024, Vodafone will present the concept of a photonic RU. According to iPronics, the demonstration will show for the first time the potential of this breakthrough to enable beam-forming in the photonic/analogue domain for high-speed frequencies, including processing usually performed in the digital transceiver unit such as signal pre-distortion and correction of other impairments.

iPronics says this development was made possible by recent disruption in photonic integration, so-called software-defined photonics, developed by iPronics in partnership with Vodafone. The startup says it provides its technology based on programmable photonic circuits, overcoming the limitations of static photonic circuits in terms of fabrication robustness with on-the-fly programmability to optimise network requirements, a new frontier in next generation base stations.

Image credit: iPronics Programmable Photonics

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