Samsung has demonstrated the first prototype of a 6G system in an over-the-air test using terahertz (THz) frequencies.
5G systems are not yet universally available, but 6G technologies are already in development.
The main advantage of 6G is higher data rates and lower latency. Peak data rates are expected to end up being up to 50 times faster than 5G. In turn, this will lead to growth to terabits per second. Experts estimate that the latency will drop to one-tenth compared to 5G. In turn, this will allow a huge amount of data to be transmitted over the network, for example, holographic video.
5G is currently operating at frequencies up to about 40 GHz, but 6G will push them beyond 100 GHz, leveraging the as-yet untapped terahertz spectrum. The new technology will also boost bandwidth, which is around 400 MHz for 5G.
For the new test, researchers from Samsung and the University of California, Santa Barbara demonstrated a system with a frequency of 140 GHz and a bandwidth of 2 GHz. At the same time, they managed to transfer data at a speed of 6.2 Gb/s over a distance of 15 m. For comparison, the speed record for 5G was 5.23 Gb/s.
The system consists of a 16-channel phased-array transmitter, a receiver module, and a baseband unit that processes the signals and helps direct the beam to the receiver.
6G is not expected to hit the market until 2030.
The team showcased the new 6G device at the IEEE 2021 International Communications Conference.