Industry Insights

To 5G and beyond – how Keysight is helping to realize 6G communications

2019-10-10  |  4 min read 

With the first 5G network deployments taking place this year, we are on the cusp of the next generation of high-speed mobile connectivity. This drives advanced new consumer applications as the first commercial 5G handsets come to market, and it also opens up new possibilities in developing smart factories, smart cities, and in meeting challenges in sectors as diverse as agriculture, public health, and better management of global resources.

Keysight continues to play a pivotal role in driving the evolution of 5G. Market-leading companies globally use our end-to-end design and test solutions to quickly and accurately validate their 5G chipset, device, base station and network designs, and accelerate their 5G product development programs.

Leading research institutions also use our solutions to enable technology breakthroughs. For example, researchers in the mmWave research laboratory at Queen’s University Belfast used Keysight’s advanced microwave test equipment extensively, to develop the solution that won the Mobile World Scholar Challenge grand prize at Mobile World Congress 2019. The solution is a front-end beamformer for 5G mobile networks that enables companies developing 5G infrastructure solutions to cost-effectively deliver reliable, ultra-fast data speeds to mobile users.

Evolving beyond 5G

However, innovation never sleeps. While Keysight continues to drive the 5G roll-out, we’re also looking to the next generation of advanced wireless communications – 6G. We recently joined the multi-party 6G Flagship Program as a founding member, to participate in ground-breaking 6G research that pushes the boundaries of high-speed, high-bandwidth communications. 6G builds on and expands the benefits that 5G delivers in sectors that depend upon always-on connectivity, such as healthcare, manufacturing, energy, transportation, and public safety.

Although 6G is still being defined, and standards will not be fully defined for another decade, the technology is expected to deliver target data speeds of terabits per second – over a hundred times faster than 5G, with ultra-low latency. Achieving those speeds means signals need to use a spectrum called terahertz waves, from 300 GHz to 3 THz, compared with the up-to-56 gigahertz specified in the 5G new radio standard’s frequency range 2. Operating in the terahertz wave spectrum demands major advances in materials, computing architectures, chip designs, and even energy sources for devices.

Laying the foundations for 6G

As the only test and measurement provider invited to take part in the program, we are excited and privileged to be involved in solving these challenges, and in helping the program achieve its overarching goals of defining 6G standards and developing the fundamental technologies that enable 6G.  In fact, we laid the foundations for this cutting-edge work in late 2018, when we made the largest donation in the history of New York University’s wireless research arm, to help NYU Wireless researchers develop uses of high-end millimeter wave and terahertz electromagnetic spectra.

At Keysight, we’re proud to be working with technology leaders from both industry and academia to develop and accelerate the next generation of wireless technology. Our combined efforts will push the boundaries of what’s possible with high-speed, high-bandwidth applications. Find out more about how Keysight is driving the evolution of 5G and beyond here.