AT&T, Samsung, Qualcomm help launch 6G research center at University of Texas



The University of Texas at Austin is opening a 6G research center with support from key wireless industry players including AT&T, Samsung and Qualcomm. Nvidia and InterDigital are also among the five founding partners. Advanced sensing, location, machine learning capabilities and the use of the terahertz spectrum are some of the key aspects that the research center for 6G is focusing on. The tower company Crown Castle is a subsidiary of Intel, Honda, Nextnav (a company that develops location and timing technologies including high-precision altitude), Western Digital and the provider of industrial automation and test and measurement solutions Yokogawa. “The advances in both wireless communication and machine learning over the past decade have been incredible but discrete,” said [email protected] Director Jeffrey Andrews, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UT Austin, in a press release. “Coupled with tremendous new detection and localization capabilities, 6G is defined by unprecedented native intelligence that will transform the network’s ability to deliver incredible services.” The handful of founding companies have agreed to sponsor at least two research projects at the center [email protected] , since three years. In addition to funding, they will also bring expertise and work with UT researchers, faculty and students to develop basic technologies for 6G. This includes wireless-specific algorithms for machine learning, advanced sensors and central network technologies. UT described 6G networks that use a variety of sensor inputs (visual, audio, thermal, seismic) that work together to create a new level of situational awareness to keep things running smoothly. “5G’s vision of sensors was not brave,” said Todd Humphreys, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at UT Austin, in the press release. “6G should start with the premise that sensor technology is not only used to react to conditions, but also to anticipate them so that important connections to automated vehicles, AR / VR headsets and other latency-sensitive applications can be maintained with absolute reliability.” Some founding members have been involved in other 6G efforts, including members of the ATIS Next G Alliance and part of the US National Science Foundation’s 6G public-private partnership program. In the announcement, Charlie Zhang, SVP of Engineering and head of Samsung’s Standards and Mobility Innovation Team, named a spectrum in the terahertz range that the company was researching and recently demonstrated for 6G with the University of California at Santa Barbara. “Samsung is excited to enter the approaching 6G era with UT Austin, one of the world’s leading wireless research universities. Together we will unlock the potential of machine learning in future networks and devices, harness the power of the new spectrum in THz bands and bring futuristic applications such as holographic calls and immersive AR / VR to life, ”said Zhang. Samsung is known as the leading manufacturer of 5G smartphones and is also gaining ground in key markets such as the United States as a provider of 5G network infrastructure. AT&T meanwhile cited intelligence in the RAN next to the higher band spectrum. “From applying AI / ML in the RAN to using network discovery and additional frequency bands, 6G will enable new and transformative applications,” said David Wolter, Assistant VP of Radio Technology at AT&T. “In our longstanding collaboration with UT Austin, they have demonstrated their unique ability to define advanced wireless technologies and contribute valuable and focused research. This new effort continues our collaboration into a new era of wireless communications. ”Other areas of focus include research into satellite links in low earth orbit for better coverage in rural and urban areas, and architectures for better infrastructure sharing [email protected] The 6G Center at UT Austin is a 19-year spin-off from the university’s Cockrell School Wireless Networking & Communications Group (WNCG), working on 4G and 5G technologies. The companies named in the latest announcement are also industrial companies of the WNCG at UT. The news marks the latest 6G collaboration as the wireless industry and governments work to get a head start even as 5G continues to roll out. In North America, the Next G Alliance was founded by ATIS, while Europe introduced Hexa-X as the flagship of the 6G initiative.