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Active Antenna System (AAS)

An active antenna system (AAS) in a mobile base station is a transceiver that integrates an antenna and radio frequency (RF) components in a single unit. This integration improves performance in mobile networks and enables some of the following advanced functionality:

Beamforming

  • AAS can form narrow beams that can be directed at specific users or areas to improve signal strength and reduce interference.
  • The direction and width of the beams can be adjusted in real-time to optimize coverage and capacity.

Multiple input multiple output (MIMO)

  • By using multiple transmit and receive antennas, AAS supports MIMO technology, which increases the capacity of the network by transmitting different data streams simultaneously.
  • Spatial multiplexing allows the transmission of separate data signals over the same frequency channel, effectively multiplying the capacity of the channel.
  • A phased array antenna is a MIMO concept in which the phases relating to signals feeding the antennas are varied so that the effective radiation pattern of the array is reinforced in a desired direction and suppressed in undesired directions.

Energy efficiency

  • Integrating the antenna with RF components reduces power losses and leads to more energy-efficient operations.
  • Power is also used more effectively by focusing energy where it's needed, rather than indiscriminate broadcasting.

Key challenges

Active antenna system designers often need to manage the following aspects:

  • Energy efficiency to reduce the active antenna system and site consumption
  • Scalability to ensure that the AAS can support multiple frequency bands and new deployment scenarios to meet the growing demand for mobile services.
  • Higher throughput , independent of deployment scenario, such as traditional, O-RAN, or edge compute architecture, while minimizing latency.
  • Reliable security functions: the AAS must be designed to prevent unauthorized access and protect against cyberattacks.

Our products and solutions

ST answers these challenges by providing a wide range of innovative products to the market.

Our offering includes an extensive range of microcontrollers and microprocessors equipped with a set of hardware peripherals and software development tools.

ST's secure solutions include a family of products in a complete ecosystem to support authentication, secure connection, secure boot and firmware upgrade, and trusted network access.

ST provides a complete portfolio of power devices, including IGBTs, thyristors, power rectifiers and MOSFETs, power modules, and System-in-Package (SiP) solutions to render active antenna systems more energy efficient.

In addition, our broad range of inertial and environmental MEMS sensors can also make active antenna systems smarter.

We offer our selected customers a range of different technologies like RF-SOI, BiCMOS, and FDSOI for telecom applications, as well as derivates of these utilizing our COT (customer-owned tooling) business model.