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6G demonstrated in lab tests with uncompressed 8K video stream

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Researchers have made strides developing '6G' wireless technologies by using 300GHz terahertz waves to transfer uncompressed, 8K ultra-high definition (UHD) video with a data rate of 48Gbit/s over the air.

The next-generation 6G mobile communication standard - which is beyond the present 5G system - is expected to transmit 8K and other UHD videos with low latency and low power consumption.

Since the data rate of UHD video is very high, however, it is necessary to compress the data when being transmitted wirelessly using microwaves or millimetre waves, which results in delays and increased power consumption. Thus, the development of a technology for uncompressed wireless transmission of UHD video is required.

“In general, the higher the frequency, the greater the capacity to transmit information, with terahertz waves having a higher frequency than microwaves and millimetre waves. We focused on terahertz waves in the 300GHz band,” said Julian Webber, an assistant professor at Osaka University.

The researchers configured a two-channel terahertz transmitter (Tx) by modulating the output of a laser pair. They then sent an 8K video signal source using an intensity modulator and converted it into terahertz waves using an ultrafast photodiode.

“In general, such ultra high-speed data transmission experiments are performed using multilevel modulations via a complex system with high power consumption that uses off-line or on-line digital signal processing,” said research lead Masayuki Fujita.

“Our achievement demonstrates the usefulness of terahertz waves and is expected to accelerate research and development activities for the realisation of Beyond 5G and eventually 6G.

“Such uncompressed wireless transmission technology for UHD video will enhance the quality of telemedicine and telework, which are directly related to social issues, and will lead to the advancement of physical-cyber fusion by utilising the big data of UHD video.”

In 2019, former US President Donald Trump called for American firms to ramp up development on 6G in order to maintain the country’s technological lead.

In 2017, one expert told E&T that 6G networks may never come to pass and that future iterations will instead rely on evolved 5G standards.

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