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Chongqing Collaborates with UK University to Meet Demands of 5G and 6G Communications

By YUTING CHEN|Aug 12,2023

Chongqing - BMF Precision Tech Inc. (BMF), a prominent enterprise in the Liangjiang New Area of Chongqing, and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom have jointly announced a strategic partnership aimed at advancing research in passive multi-beam antenna manufacturing to meet the demands of 5G and 6G wireless communication applications.

The relevant person in charge of BMF said the partnership will continue flourishing, driving innovation in wireless communication technology. 

This collaboration aims to deliver enhanced and efficient communication experiences for users while paving the way for new opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, and beyond.

Pioneering solutions in the 5G and 6G communications

The multi-beam antenna can increase wireless capacity with enhanced spectral efficiency, especially passive multi-beam antennas with immense potential in the 5G and 6G communications. 

However, their intricate lens structures necessitate meticulous processing and stringent tolerances. While conventional manufacturing methods can produce these antennas, they often require substantial time, resources, and expensive equipment.

To address these challenges and achieve high precision, low tolerance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in antenna manufacturing, Professor Wang Yi's team at the University of Birmingham is pioneering innovative solutions.

3D printed multi-beam antenna (left); metal-plated 3D printed multi-beam antenna (right). (Photo/BMF Precision Tech Inc.)

One of the most promising micro-scale processing techniques

Structurally, the antennas comprise a surface wave Luneberg lens and an array of nine feed point waveguides. Each waveguide incorporates waveguide slots crafted alongside the lens, necessitating collaborative manufacturing using both 3D printing and CNC machining techniques.

Leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing, designers can adjust waveguide manufacturing without introducing complexity. BMF's nanoArch S140 employs Projection Micro-Stereolithography (PμSL) technology, enabling ultra-high printing precision. This system efficiently realizes the printing of lens structures and feed point waveguides.

PμSL harnesses a high-precision ultraviolet photolithography projection system to layer models on a resin liquid surface, facilitating rapid microstructure formation. The technology stands out for its high efficiency and cost-effectiveness, making it one of the most promising micro-scale processing techniques.

According to Professor Wang, the BMF's ultra-high precision 3D printer boasts micrometer-level accuracy, centimeter-level build volume, and exceptional cross-scale printing capability. This provides robust support for the team's research, a feat unattainable with traditional milling or microfabrication methods.


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