the road to the realm of 6G interconnectivity

More than 100 years ago we could already hear in La Verbena de la Paloma by the Breton master that “Today the sciences say that it is scandalous”. And it’s still undeniably relevant, so much so that we could sing “Without chips I’m nothing” to the sound of the chords of Amaral. Over the past few decades, wonder chips have burst into the soundtrack of our lives, serving as the heart of the devices through which we obtain information, work, entertain, and interact with other people.

The mathematics of love: “If you give me a like…”

Social networks are an example: “Neither with you, nor without tweeting”. WhatsApp is the most widely used instant messaging application in the world. In Spain, 97% of young people and 87% of those over 65 use it. Come on, he’s not old. Every day, about 5 billion emojis, almost one for every inhabitant of the planet. The Tinder application, with 50 million users, is present in 196 countries. Thanks to Tinder, more than 26 million dates are established based on an algorithm that tries to predict similar people and gives each profile a secret score based on a series of variables, including the love receive. This is the mathematics of love: “If you give me a As I leave everything.”

This year, there will be more than 5 billion Internet users worldwide with data traffic equivalent to downloading 40,000 films every second. And a significant part of this data is exchanged between machines, without the intervention of any human being, in processes called M2M (machine to machine, or from machine to machine). Microchips are the basis of all of this.

Take me to the moon and let me play among the stars

The Internet of Things (IoT) it is the new paradigm of communication that includes the interconnectivity between objects (from sensors and mechanical devices to everyday objects such as the refrigerator, shoes or clothes). This generates a vast field of potential applications such as Industry 4.0, precision agriculture, self-driving cars, smart cities, etc. the bone portable (sensor devices integrated into clothing) or home automation, among many others. The house of the future is already here: refrigerators that do the shopping, toothbrushes that notify us of the annual report… “Thanks to the 5GIt has brought me so much”. This technological trend is going to be unstoppable. The physical world merges with the digital world and we can ask for everything: take me to the moon… take us to the moon!

Networks of interconnected chips to make way for 5G

To extend connectivity to an infinite number of objects, many challenges must be overcome at different levels. An important element to enable the IoT is the technology used for the exchange of information between various devices, i.e. communication networks.

This hyperconnected world will be possible thanks to the fifth generation of mobile networks or 5G. One application is fixed wireless access that takes advantage of mobile networks. The system makes it possible to offer Internet services with large data capacity and at speeds of gigabits per second. Fiber optics will no longer be the only option for downloading high-speed data without loss of capacity and with latency times of a few milliseconds. We can talk about almost real-time navigation, which is particularly important, for example, in self-driving cars, because minimizing their response time improves safety.

5G technology seeks to take advantage of an area of ​​the electromagnetic spectrum beyond current Wi-Fi and mobile phone frequencies, to tens of gigahertz. This generates faster speeds and more bandwidth, solving the current radio spectrum saturation problem. The reduction in the coverage area due to the lower range of these waves will be compensated by a mass deployment of smart surface antennas . These antennas will be integrated into the environment to minimize the visual impact.

Antennas and smart chips beamformers

The antenna networks play a very important role in the improvements introduced in the deployment of nascent 5G networks and in experimental 6Gas well as in satellite communications (SATCOM).

Among the main advantages of using antenna arrays are the ability to electronically steer the radiation pattern, without mechanical parts, within microseconds, and the ability to generate multiple beams of radiation. This is achieved electronically control the phase of the signal received or emitted in each of the radiating elements which make up the matrix, so that the interference of the field radiated by each of the individual antennas has the maxima or minima at the desired positionsin so-called fleas beamformers.

The control electronics are inserted in the radiating part, obtaining less loss in reception and less power required in transmission, generating a more fault-tolerant structure with low visual impact. But this is not easy to achieve with millimeter wave signals due to the reduced sizes and spacing between the radiating elements. The use of a large number of small chips (up to 64) distributed over the surface of the antenna makes it possible to obtain flat antennas the size of a Tablet. The development of this type of antennas will be essential for new mass applications of 5G technology and future 6G applications to be competitive.

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