Monday, 22 July 2019

6G: Above 100 GHz and Terahertz (THz) Frequencies

A new research paper  "Wireless Communications and Applications Above 100 GHz: Opportunities and Challenges for 6G and Beyond" by T. S. Rappaport et al. is available on IEEE website here.

With 5G, we are still solving the challenges of millimeter waves (mmWaves) so it is surprising for most people to hear that there is a research going on beyond 100 GHz and in THz frequencies. Quoting from the abstract of the paper:

The paper describes many of the technical challenges and opportunities for wireless communication and sensing applications above 100 GHz, and presents a number of promising discoveries, novel approaches, and recent results that will aid in the development and implementation of the sixth generation (6G) of wireless networks, and beyond. It also shows recent regulatory and standard body rulings that are anticipating wireless products and services above 100 GHz and illustrates the viability of wireless cognition, hyper-accurate position location, sensing, and imaging. The paper also presents approaches and results that show how long distance mobile communications will be supported to above 800 GHz since the antenna gains are able to overcome air-induced attenuation, and present methods that reduce the computational complexity and simplify the signal processing used in adaptive antenna arrays, by exploiting the Special Theory of Relativity to create a cone of silence in over-sampled antenna arrays that improve performance for digital phased array antennas. Also, new results that give insights into power efcient beam steering algorithms, and new propagation and partition loss models above 100 GHz are given, and promising imaging, array processing, and position location results are presented. The implementation of spatial consistency at THz frequencies, an important component of channel modeling that considers minute changes and correlations over space, is also discussed. This paper offers the first in-depth look at the vast applications of THz wireless products and applications and provides approaches for how to reduce power and increase performance across several problem domains, giving early evidence that THz techniques are compelling and available for future wireless communications.

At Brooklyn 5G Summit 2019, NYU Wireless founder and director, Dr. Ted Rappaport, presented a keynote on his vision beyond 5G, looking at both electronics and photonics, considering applications over 100GHz, channel models, and said that he expects brain-comparative data rate transmission wirelessly over the air in future networks. The keynote is embedded as video above.

Another keynote by Gerhard Fettweis from TU Dresden, talks about terahertz starting off with a look back at the history of mobile network generations up to 5G and looking ahead to 6G. Anticipating the tactile internet revolution to come, he considers the technicalities such as spectrum, channels, efficiency and adaptability needed to achieve the expected level of computing. That keynote can be viewed here.

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