NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / December 16, 2022 / Qualcomm
from dr John E Smee
2022 was an exciting year for mobile communications. Not only the third 5G standard – 3GPP Release 17 – was successfully completed with many 5G innovations, work on 5G Advanced has also officially started. For the rest of this decade, 5G Advanced will continue to improve end-to-end system performance, bring new efficiencies, and spread 5G to more devices and use cases. More importantly, 5G Advanced lays the technical foundation for 6G – the next-generation mobile platform coming in 2030 and beyond.
Today, the early vision for 6G mobile is beginning to emerge, and the broader vertical ecosystems are beginning fundamental technology research to prepare for the next decade of innovation. Although we are still several years away from commercial launches of the 6G platform, we are certain: 6G will bring technology leaps, new experiences and use cases that we can hardly imagine today.
6G motivations, skills and applications
So why do we need 6G? At a high level, there are three main drivers: capitalizing on core technology advances (in wireless and adjacent areas such as semiconductors and materials science), meeting societal sustainability needs (economic growth, digital access and green initiatives), and addressing new demands for next-level experiences that 5G will not can be fulfilled.
To efficiently achieve these goals, 6G will be a smarter platform that offers more than just a new radio design. It is intended to encompass a broader range of technologies to further fuel the expansion of the connected intelligent edge at scale. 6G will fully unlock the combined potential of communications, artificial intelligence (AI), embedded sensing, system resilience, and greener networks.
For use cases, 6G will evolve fixed and mobile broadband to support expanded capacities and higher speeds. Pervasive access can provide ubiquitous connectivity, and real-time control will further enhance ultra-low latency, high-reliability communications. 6G will also provide new classes of services and serve as a unified platform that can take human immersion to the next level. Advanced sensor technology will enable spatial perception services to further improve communication and enable new applications. Building on this technological advance, the 6G platform aims to realize a wide range of industrial and societal benefits, further expand the digital economy and ensure greater sustainability.
Essential technology vectors on the way to 6G
Today, at Qualcomm Technologies, we are driving longer-term research across a variety of technical disciplines to advance the development of 5G Advanced and lay the technical foundation for 6G. Let me summarize our main technology vectors.
Merging of Worlds: Future innovations may enable more immersive experiences. We’re rapidly pushing the boundaries of technology to take human augmentation to the next level, merging the physical, digital, and virtual worlds more seamlessly. As we move towards 6G, we will continue to improve borderless XR and tactile internet, enable shared communications and low-power sensing, and more.
AI-native end-to-end communication and detection: A data-driven design spreads the AI across all protocols and layers, allowing the 6G system to efficiently improve as more data is collected. Key enabling technologies can facilitate collaborative training, model sharing, and distributed inference across networks and devices, including federated learning that can fully scale with 6G.
Scalable network architecture: Next-generation systems will bring processing capabilities even closer to the end user by disaggregating and distributing cloud processing across the connected intelligent edge. It is expected to meet broader application needs and further enhance open RAN topologies (O-RAN) with disaggregation and virtualization for more scalable, cost-effective and adaptable networks.
Air Interface Innovations: A state-of-the-art air interface design can deliver significant leaps in performance across the existing and new spectrum. Fundamental building blocks (waveforms, multiple access, channel coding) must accommodate exponential data growth with sustained complexity and power efficiency. Example ranges include full-duplex, Giga-MIMO, reconfigurable smart surfaces, and more.
Expansion into new frequency bands: A new spectrum paradigm can bring new spectrum and enable novel sharing and dynamic coordination techniques that make better use of existing spectrum. Opening up the upper mid-band (ie 7 to 24 GHz) and sub-THz band (above 100 GHz) can enable new use cases and deployments that require extreme capacity.
Communication resilience: From the cloud to the network to the device, there is an increasing need to support higher levels of resiliency in terms of security, privacy, availability and more. Next-generation systems will build on a solid foundation to further improve resilience to future challenges. The potential focus includes new and improved trust models, such as B. supporting post-quantum security.
There is a lot of work ahead of us to advance the evolution of 5G Advanced on the way to 6G. I look forward to providing more updates at our annual technology showcase at MWC Barcelona 2023. So please stay tuned.
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