What is a Millimeter Wave? Answers to This and Other Questions About mmWave

What is a Millimeter Wave? Answers to This and Other Questions About mmWave

Demand due to technological advances has created a need for faster network services. This is what has led to the development of 5G networks, which are made possible by millimeter waves. But what is a millimeter wave? In addition to this question, new technology means-testing to ensure that they meet health and safety standards.

In this article, we’ll be discussing what millimeter wave is, SAR testing challenges, and its applications. Keep reading to get answers to the most important questions about millimeter wave technology.

What is a Millimeter Wave?

The International Telecommunication Union designates the band of radio frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum from 30 to 300 GHz as extremely high frequency (EHF), or millimeter wave. These radio waves are given the name “millimeter” because they have wavelengths ranging from 10 to 1 millimeter. Because of this, it is also known as the millimeter band. Millimeter waves are often abbreviated as MMW or mmWave. 

Some frequencies near the bottom of this band are now used in 5G networks, the newest generation of cell phone networks. This is used for many services on mobile and wireless networks because of their ability to enable higher data rates for Wi-Fi and cellular networks. 

Millimeter wave is used in a variety of products and services such as high-speed, point-to-point wireless local area networks (WLANs), and broadband access. It’s ideal for short-distance wireless transmission of ultra-high-definition video and communications from small, low-power IoT devices. The limited distance of mmWave also makes it ideal for communications between autonomous vehicles.

However, the design of millimeter-wave circuits and subsystems present challenges due to semiconductor and process limitations, model limitations, and poor Q factors of passive devices.

MMW Testing

Although millimeter wave technology has been around for over 50 years, testing only began fairly recently. Testing is especially important as this technology has become more consumer-oriented. Manufacturers will have to figure out how mmWave devices will be manufactured, packaged, and tested.

This is further complicated by the fact that 5G and mmWave technology have a variety of applications, such as automotive uses, multi-mode and multi-band technologies, antennas, and more. All of these different devices and applications have different testing requirements. 

In some devices, the transceiver will need to be tested along with the antennas, while for other devices, only the antennas will need to be tested. However, when it comes to millimeter wave technology, transceivers and antennas along with the package and the speed and integrity of the signal may need to be tested. This complicates SAR testing for millimeter wave devices.

what is a millimeter wave

What is a Millimeter Wave? Telecommunications Applications

Millimeter wave bands use includes point-to-point communications, inter-satellite links, and point-multipoint communications. This band is also used to power 5G for mobile phones and semi-autonomous vehicular communications.

Within this band, shorter wavelengths can also be used to allow smaller antennas to achieve the same high directivity and high gain as larger antennas in lower bands. This provides a more efficient use of frequencies for point-to-multipoint applications. It also allows for greater frequency reuse and a higher density of users, because a larger number of highly directive antennas can be placed in one area. This is particularly beneficial for powering 5G and mobile phone usage, which generally creates a high density of users in a given area.

Millimeter Wave Device Testing at RF Exposure Lab

At RF Exposure Lab, we’re always working to stay up to date on the latest developments in SAR regulations so that you don’t have to. That’s why we have millimeter wave device testing equipment arriving at our lab in early December. Meeting the needs of our clients as technology advances and changes is important to us.

We also strive to be as communicative and transparent as possible throughout the SAR testing process so you always know what’s going on with your product and are never left in the dark. We offer SAR testing services for a variety of wireless devices including cell phones, laptops and tablets, medical products, survey equipment, wireless modems, and more. 

If you’re looking for SAR testing help that is provided with expertise, speed, accuracy, and integrity, contact us to get a quote for our services.