The Promise and Potential of 6G in the Next Decade

At the i14y Lab Summit 2023, Slawomir Stanczak, from Fraunhofer HHI and Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin), delivered a keynote delving into the promise and potential of 6G in the next decade… Here is an overview of what was discussed, but you can watch the complete discussion below.

The Promise and Potential of 6G in the Next Decade

The Promise of 6G in the Next Decade

Slawomir Stanczak, Head of Department Wireless Communications and Networks at Fraunhofer HHI and Professor for Network Information Theory at TU Berlin, is also the coordinator of the 6G Research and Innovation Cluster (6G RIC) in Berlin, which is spearheading efforts to explore the next generation of wireless communication. Here, partners from across Germany are collaborating on the fundamental aspects of this next era of 6G technology.

6G Research and Innovation Cluster

Slawomir emphasized in his keynote at the i14y Lab Summit that 6G would embrace openness. With its main site of operations located in Berlin, right where the Summit was taking place, the 6G RIC will be fostering collaboration among partners from across Germany. This, as Slawomir pointed out, is a bit more future-oriented than the other topics presented at the Summit, but it is the cluster’s focus to establish the fundamental aspects of 6G through key strategies:


  • Development of Key 6G Tech: The cluster is dedicated to pioneering groundbreaking 6G technologies.
  • Demonstration of Tech Application: It aims to showcase how these technologies can be applied to selected use cases.
  • Open Test/Development Infrastructure: Openness is a cornerstone, providing a collaborative space for innovation.
  • Contribution to an Open 6G Ecosystem: The cluster actively participates in building an open and thriving 6G ecosystem.
  • Supporting Young Researchers: Nurturing young talents in the field is a top priority.
6G Research and Innovation Cluster

What Sets 6G Apart


Slawomir provided valuable insights into the main focus of 6G, which centers around the challenge of achieving higher throughput while maintaining energy efficiency. Higher throughput per unit area is challenging in itself and requires maximizing spectral efficiency, increasing network density or using more bandwidth. However, achieving these goals with current technologies typically results in higher energy consumption. Therefore, achieving much higher throughput without significantly increasing energy consumption remains a major challenge.


6G's Design Challenges


As 6G unfolds,energy consumption is also a critical consideration in an era where AI and ML are in the spotlight. Slawomir emphasized the importance of discussing data acquisition, network computing, and semantics, as AI, while promising, consumes energy and collects vast amounts of data which will need to be organized and prioritized accordingly.


Efficient Energy Consumption: The 6G-RIC Way


To mitigate excessive energy consumption, 6G RIC is exploring cross-domain approaches for synergetic gains. These include hetero-integration of semiconductor technologies, modular hybrid phased arrays, alternative analog technologies, and low spectral efficiency to simplify hardware components. Achieving efficient beam alignment and tracking remains a key focus, showcasing the transformative potential of narrow beams in energy-efficient communications.


Semantic Communication and Goal-Oriented Communication


Semantic communication also has become central in the 6G context, enabling effective cooperation among diverse agents, and connected robotics and autonomous systems. The aim is to streamline data transfer, ensuring that transmitted symbols accurately reflect the sender's intentions and effectively accomplish desired tasks.

With its open approach, innovative strategies, and focus on energy-efficient design, 6G RIC is paving the way for a future where 6G technology transforms industries and enhances connectivity. For more comprehensive insights from this keynote presentation, access the full recording from the i14y Lab Summit 2023 is provided above.

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