- While 5G telecommunications networks are just beginning to be deployed, Rohde & Schwarz and the Fraunhofer Institute are already planning for the future.
- The commercial exploitation of transmission technologies for the sixth generation of mobile wireless communications (6G) is not expected to materialize for another ten years. However, Rohde & Schwarz and its partners are already sharpening their weapons.
- The feasibility of transmissions in the terahertz (THz) band has been demonstrated by the development of a wireless transmission and reception system operating at frequencies between 270 and 320 GHz, with the possibility of extending it to other frequency bands envisaged by the future 6G standard.
5G communication technologies operate at frequencies previously untapped in mobile telephony. These frequencies, located in the mmWave bands, provide access to higher bandwidths and data transmission rates. 6G communication technologies aim to further push these limits.
Although frequencies for 6G are not yet defined, it is already clear that frequency bandwidths need to be further increased in order to achieve terabit data rates. However, the large blocks of contiguous frequencies that can be used are at the sub-THz and THz level, i.e. in the frequency range above 100 GHz.
Rohde & Schwarz has designed with its partners at the Fraunhofer Institute a first demonstrator for the generation and analysis of signals at 300 GHz with a bandwidth of 2 GHz. The signal can be arbitrarily modulated to experiment with the transmission of candidate waveforms to technologies following 5G, which are appropriate for THz communication or for channel propagation measurements.
This solution was presented in Paris at the EuMW 2019 exhibition as part of a workshop on wireless communication in the field of mmWave and THz. It consists of 300 GHz transmitting/receiving interfaces, the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator and the R&S FSW43 signal and spectrum analyzer as well as transmitter/receiver synchronization units.
The Fraunhofer HHI (Heinrich Hertz Institute) participated in the development of signal processing, transmitter/receiver synchronization and system integration. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF contributed to the design of the millimetre wave transmit and receive modules. This shared research project targets frequencies above 100 GHz, where the primary focus is on the D-band (150 GHz) and the H-band (300 GHz). Carrier frequencies above 300 GHz are still the subject of fundamental research.