A Real-time Architecture for Agile and FPGA-based Concurrent Triple-Band All-Digital RF Transmission

Contiguous/Non-Contiguous Carrier Aggregation (CA) is one of the key features from 4G systems that is expected to be evolved within 5G technologies. Thus, there is a need for the development of flexible, agile and reconfigurable radio transceivers with a native support for the integration of multiple bands and multiple standards. All-Digital RF Transmitters have demonstrated promising potential to the design of nextgeneration RF transceivers. However, the simultaneous multiband transmission is still one of the key limitations of current approaches. To address this problem, this paper presents a fully digital and parallel architecture that enables the real-time design of agile and concurrent triple-band transmission. The proposed architecture is suitable for both Contiguous and Non-Contiguous CA scenarios, and considerably surpasses the state-of-the-art in terms of frequency agility, maximum spacing between bands, and aggregated bandwidth. To enhance the system performance, an extension to a multi-level architecture, based on the analog combination of pulsed waveforms, is also demonstrated. Both architectures (2- and 7-level) were implemented in a FieldProgrammable Gate Array (FPGA). Measurement results in terms of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), Error-Vector Magnitude (EVM) and Adjacent-Channel Power Ratio (ACPR) are presented and discussed. Implementation-I, the 2-level architecture presents a frequency agility from 0.1 to 2.5 GHz (with a frequency resolution of 4.88 MHz) with an aggregated bandwidth of 56.26 MHz. Implementation-II, the 7-level design presents a frequency agility from 0.1 to 2 GHz (with a frequency resolution of 3.906 MHz) with an aggregated bandwidth of 112.5 MHz.