According to VentureBeat, as 5G networks continue to expand in many countries and cities around the world, key researchers have begun to lay the groundwork for 6G deployments which would happen around 10 years later. They say that this time the key selling point will no longer be a faster cell phone or wireless home Internet services! But rather a series of advanced industrial and scientific applications, including wireless, real-time remote access to human brain level artificial intelligence (AI) computing.
Dr Ted Rappaport, a pioneer in wireless research at New York University, and his colleagues recently released the latest papers focusing on 100 GHz to 3 THz wireless spectrum applications. Since previous generations of cellular networks have continued to expand the use of the radio spectrum, from the microwave frequency to the millimetre wave frequency. Now, the “submillimeter wave” range is the last available spectrum resource on the surface of a safe, non-ionizing frequency, which can be in optical, X-ray, gamma ray and cosmic ray wavelengths to be used for communication.
Dr Rappaport’s team said that although the 5G network should eventually be able to provide 100 Gbps speed. The signal encryption technology does not exist right now and cannot exceed this speed. Even in today’s millimetre-wave band, one of the bands provides the same bandwidth as a highway with 500 lanes. Therefore, the open THz frequency will provide a huge new bandwidth for wireless use, enabling unimaginable amounts and types of data to be transmitted in one second.
One of the most relevant technologies will enable wireless devices to remotely transmit large amounts of computational data equivalent to human brain capacity. As the researchers explained, “THz frequency is probably the first wireless spectrum that can provide real-time computing for wireless remote control of human perception.” In other words, a wireless computer with limited onboard computing power. After gaining server-sized AI remote guidance, a drone will be able to build a new building as fast as a top-notch human pilot or a machine commanded away from a construction site via computer.
Some of these things may sound familiar, as similar remote control concepts have emerged in the development of 5G, but it requires manual operation. The key to 6G is that all of this computationally intensive work will be done by human-level AI. Thus, pushing a large amount of observation and response data back and forth. The researchers pointed out that by 2036, Moore’s law showed that computers with human brain computing power would eventually be available for $1,000. That will happen eventually if processors actually follow Moore’s law as they have in the recent past! The equivalent of today’s high-end smartphones and 6G would make access to such computers and high computational AIs even easier!
Dr Rappaport’s team also expects that the sub-millimetre wave spectrum will enhance existing technologies such as night vision millimetre-wave cameras, high-definition radar and THz (rather than millimetre-wave) human-safe scanning. Unbelievable high-speed bandwidth will also bring new changes, making people rely on fibre infrastructure to connect to the “wireless fibre” network backhaul and data centre.
Of course, before the 6G moves from theory to reality, there are still many major practical challenges to overcome. This includes the miniaturization of core technologies and the confirmation that the THz frequency is as safe as currently believed. In addition, like millimetre wave transmission, submillimeter wave frequencies also require highly directional antennas, in part because they are very susceptible to atmospheric interference, especially at frequencies above 800 GHz.
But the researchers pointed out that overcoming these challenges, like the successful use of millimetre waves in the past 10 years, will bring huge benefits to users. Data transmission will consume less energy and ultra-high gain antennas will be able to be made “very small.” This will pave the way for smaller devices, including military-grade secure communication links that are “extremely difficult” to intercept or eavesdrop.
In March of this year, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to open the 95 GHz to the 3 THz bands for “6G, 7G or any next-generation network.” However, the committee members said that the speculative use of frequency at the time made the vote similar to “the zoning method for the moon.” Based on past history, in the future, Dr Rappaport and others will be at the forefront of transforming these concepts from science fiction to scientific facts.
So guys what do you think? Is the future coming here really fast? Is it better to envision an AI-enabled highly connected modern world with 6G at its core or should we stop while we have the time?
Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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