5G NR Unified Air Interface

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Designing a new OFDM-based unified air interface.

Qualcomm is working to design and standardize the new 5G NR unified air interface. We have developed optimized OFDM-based waveforms that will scale in both the frequency- and time-domain, as well as optimized multiple access for different use cases. We have also created a new flexible 5G NR framework that will efficiency multiplex 5G services and features.

Designing 5G Unified Air Interface

Nov 10, 2015


Optimized OFDM-based waveforms & multiple access.

The OFDM family—highly utilized in 4G LTE and Wi-Fi systems today—is well suited to meet 5G NR requirements for high spectral efficiency, scalability to wide bandwidths, efficient MIMO implementation and low complexity per bit. 5G NR can additionally support the use of non-orthogonal multiple access techniques, such as Resource Spread Multiple Access (RSMA), for target use cases such as sporadic uplink traffic from battery-powered IoT sensors.

Scaling OFDM to meet diverse requirements.

5G NR will deliver OFDM-based waveforms that will scale in both the frequency- and time-domain to support diverse spectrum bands and types, diverse deployments and diverse services. The OFDM family allows for enhancements such as windowing and filtering to improve frequency localization and the ability to create single-carrier waveforms for efficient uplink transmissions.

Flexible 5G NR framework will support a scalable TTI.

5G NR is designed to efficiently multiplex 5G services thanks to a flexible framework that supports various levels of data rate, mobility, latency and reliability. To meet diverse latency and QoS requirements, 5G NR will support a scalable Time Transmission Interval (TTI), which will be capable of delivering latencies an order of magnitude lower than 4G LTE today. The 5G NR flexible framework is also being designed to ensure forward compatibility so future 5G services and features can be easily incorporated.

5G NR self-contained subframe.

One key technology enabler to the 5G NR flexible framework is the new self-contained, integrated subframe design. This new 5G NR innovation provides scheduling info, data and acknowledgement in the same subframe, enabling lower latency plus support for new deployment scenarios and forward compatibility.