TERAhertz integrated systems enabling 6G Terabit-per-second ultra-massive MIMO wireless networks
About Project TERA6G:
Challenging telecommunication scenarios often arise in urban environments and industrial networks. Think of high-traffic tourist areas where public hotspots become ineffective due to the density of devices connected to them, or sports events – where massive crowds try to connect to the same wi-fi network at the same time, unsuccesfully. New network solutions and new infrastructures are needed in order to overcome these challenges.
The TERA6G research project is developing versatile wireless transceivers that tackle these kinds of challenges. These modules are more agile, scalable, and reconfigurable than their predecessors. By using Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output (MIMO) and beamforming techniques in combination with millimeter-wave and terahertz (THz) operating bands, the project is meant to enable terabit-per-second data throughput capacity.
Integrated radio frequency photonics for better wireless transceiver modules
More efficient wireless transceiver modules are possible with integrated radio frequency (RF) photonics. Ultra-wide bandwidths and continuous carrier wave frequency tuning will enable the agile front haul required for high data rate networks. Scalable MIMO techniques require large numbers of beams steerable with 2D phased array antennae via optical beamforming networks (OBFNs). Reconfigurable networks, capable of switching off beams for power conservation, combine beams for intensifying emissions, and circumvent blocked transmission routes, require high frequency flexibility and a high number of possible wireless pencil-beams to choose from.
Urban deployment scenarios enabled by TERA6G wireless transceivers.
The Role of LioniX International:
LioniX international is contributing to the TERA6G project with its low-loss silicon nitride waveguide TriPleX® technology and integrated microwave photonics expertise. We will realize scalable arrays of wavelength-tunable lasers and OBFNs for the transmitter and the receiver modules. LioniX will co-design the photonic integrated circuits (PICs) responsible for THz beam-steering, which is crucial for the multi-MIMO functionality of the network.
For the transmitter module, two generations of the device will be fabricated. The first generation will test out the concept with a two-beams-per-chiplet design, including two lasers and two optical modulators for 8×1 antenna elements. The second generation will double the performance, aiming fora four-beams-per-chiplet design using 4×4 antenna elements. By scaling up the first-generation modules, the Blass Matrix Transmitter module will contain at least two chiplets for up to 8 independently steerable beams.
Similarly, the receiver module will be developed using the same schema: a first generation will include 4×1 antenna elements, and the second generation will include 4×4 antenna elements. The number of integrated lasers will be scaled to the number of beams in the final module.
LioniX will also provide guidance on network requirements for the application scenarios outlined in the project, and subsequently help define the required circuit specifications and evaluate the performance of the final modules. We will also advise on the design, assembly, and packaging of the optical routing motherboard which will combine the above chiplets with the antenna arrays. As the PZT-based actuators used in the OBFN chiplets are LioniX-developed, we will also assist in the development of their control electronics.
🌐 Visit the project’s website for a full rundown of its aims and consortium members.
🌐 Read more about the project in 6G Waves magazine, page 34.!
🌐 Read more about TriPleX® technology and integrated microwave photonics development at LioniX.