We’ve only begun to see the benefits of 5G technology. 5G’s extraordinary speeds, greater capacity, and virtually unlimited connectivity allow consumers to enjoy a smarter, more connected world. While many parts of the countries are still waiting on the rollout of 5G technology, the race for 6G – the next generation of communications technology – has already started.
Engineers at LG Electronics, in collaboration with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, have now successfully demonstrated the transmission and reception of wireless 6G terahertz (THz) data at a record distance of more than 100 meters in an outdoor setting. The data was transmitted between the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) and the Berlin Institute of Technology in Germany.
There are significant hurdles that need to be overcome in developing 6G technology when it comes to transmitting data over long distances. It has a short range and experiences power loss during transmission and reception between antennas. One of the biggest challenges in the evolution of wireless 6G has been the need for power amplification to generate a stable signal across ultra-wideband frequencies.
To overcome that, the team used a power amplifier capable of generating stable signal output up to 15 dBm in the frequency range between 155 to 175 GHz. The engineers have also demonstrated adaptive beamforming technology, which alters the signal’s direction in accordance with changes to the channel and receiver position. LG also developed high gain antenna switching, which combines output signals of multiple power amplifiers and transmits them to specific antennas.
This is a small advance in the work that various companies are doing towards a 6G future. However, the technology still has several years to go before it reaches end consumers. LG estimates the technology to be standardized globally by 2025 and available commercially within four years thereafter.
“The success of this test demonstrates that we are ever closer to the successful application of terahertz radio communication spectrum in the upcoming 6G era,” said Dr. I.P. Park, president, and CTO of LG Electronics. “Our successful partnerships with local and global research institutions and organizations to advance the development of 6G capabilities have been very rewarding.“