Development and Verification of Terahertz Beamforming Technology for Next-Generation Mobile Communication
After the LG-KAIST 6G Research Center made an MoU on R&D cooperation with the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and the LG Electronics C&M Standard Lab in August 2020, they developed a source technology for wireless transmission at Terahertz (THz) frequency band. The 6G THz band beamforming was demonstrated by the LG-KAIST 6G Research Center in August 2021, and thus advanced mobile communication technologies were demonstrated in November when the KAIST President Kwang-Hyung Lee visited the Center with Cédric O, the French Secretary of State for the Digital Transition and Electronic Communications.
What is the essence of the THz wireless transmission technology, which is considered as the core of the 6G mobile communication? That is to realize 1 Tbps data transmission rate with a delay of about 0.0001 second by using the frequency band from 0.1 THz to several THz. Compare it with the 5G technology where the data transmission rate is about 20 Gbps with a millisecond (0.001 second) delay. The future that will be brought about by the huge change of the data transmission rate that is about 50 times as high as the current level is hard to imagine at the moment.
|Leading the Journey Toward the Era of 6G Mobile Communication|
Successful realization of beamforming in THz band
“Korea is in fierce competition with advanced IT nation such as US, China and EU to preoccupy the 6G mobile technology for commercialization in 2030. At present, the competitors around the world have no idea about what the world will be like in the era when the 6G technology will have been commercialized. Nevertheless, we have to participate in the competition, because it is sure that we will get tremendous merits if we preoccupy the 6G core technology,” says Dang-Oh Kim, a senior researcher at the LG-KAIST 6G Research Center.
The significance of the successful demonstration at the LG-KAIST 6G Research Center in 2021 is that a data transmission rate of 1 Tbps could be accomplished by realizing the beamforming at the THz frequency band. The Center developed successfully the 6G source technology, which is 11 times as faster as the current 5G technology. Beamforming in wireless communication refers to the technology focusing the beam from a basestation antenna to a specific terminal (receiving device). In the 5G mobile communication also, beamforming was performed at 28 GHz high-frequency band (mmWave) but there is a constraint that a large amount of data can be smoothly transmitted only when the beam of basestation is matched with that of the terminal. This means that a large number of basestations are required in the mmWave mobile communication, and thus the benefits of 5G technology at the high frequency band cannot be used sufficiently in the rural areas where the basestations are few. That’s why we hear the complaint, ‘What is the point of 6G, while we are not enjoying 5G fully?’
World’s first accomplishment obtained purely by Korean technologies
Dang-Oh Kim says that the THz band beamforming is a key technology that should be researched in the future. The basestation issue that has limited the full realization of 5G mobile communication will also come up with the 6G technology. Nevertheless, the success of LG-KAIST research center is still meaningful as the first step, opening a new 6G beamforming world. It is even more meaningful, considering that the success was accomplished purely by the Korean technologies. “Our group (ITC-LG-KRISS) is the only research consortium in Korea that conducts the 6G convergence researches in a full scale. We are proud that the ultra wideband beamforming source technology that we acquired through the joint convergence research among LG Electronics, KAIST and KRISS is the world’s first and best.”
Prof.Dong Ho Cho
2021 Annual Report