It’s probably a decade off, but 6G planners are already working on essential technology components and solutions needed for the 2030 wireless era.
6G research is organized into four interrelated strategic research areas: wireless connectivity, device and circuit technologies, distributed intelligent computing, and novel applications and services. Major scientific breakthroughs are sought in all of them.
While no one in 2020 knows exactly what 6G will look like, 6G researchers and planners envision a future society which is data-driven and enabled by near instant, unlimited wireless connectivity. As such, 6G is expected to satisfy the expectations not met with 5G, as well as introducing new technologies fusing AI inspired applications in every field of society with ubiquitous wireless connectivity.
The main future uses of 6G are foreseen to take place in different verticals that 5G has already started to address. There will be very high capacity short-range solutions as well as solutions addressing the challenges of remote and rural areas.
The minds that meld the wireless network industry expect 6G to have speeds 10 times greater than the fifth generation and more bandwidth to handle new data-hogging devices such as unmanned factory equipment and autonomous cars.
The actual format for 6G will depend on how 5G develops and where its shortfalls appear to be. Currently there are many different use cases that have been put forward. It is expected that it will be used increasingly for the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as inter-vehicle communications for autonomous vehicles.
One much talked about future technology expected to debut with 6G is the Holographic Multiple Input Multiple Output Surface (HMIMOS) that refers to a low-cost transformative wireless planar structure comprising of sub-wavelength metallic or dielectric scattering particles, which is capable of impacting electromagnetic waves according to desired objectives.
A practical implementation of active HMIMOS can be a compact integration of an infinite number of tiny antenna elements with reconfigurable processing networks realizing a continuous antenna aperture. This structure can be used to transmit and receive communication signals across the entire surface by leveraging the hologram principle.
One possible usage of HMIMOS would be corporate meetings where attendees look to be physically present, but are actually holographic projections.
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Tonex offers Introduction to 6G | IMT-2030, a 1-day course that covers the design motivation and underlying technology of 6G architecture, as well as new 6G vocabulary terms. Participants learn the differences between 5G and 6G, and understand how 6G will accomplish its goals by observing how it will work.
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