The history of technology is characterized by innovative tools that have fundamentally changed the way we live, work and interact socially. From the steam and water engines of the first industrial revolution to the microprocessor hallmarks of the digital revolution to the information age where the radio spectrum is used as a means of transmitting data and energy, each era has developed its engines for transforming materials, energy and, more recently, knowledge and information. As we advance towards the next wireless industrial revolution, radio spectrum is a major enabler in the drive of the information age. Periods of the technological revolution The need for information There is no doubt that information technology has a significant impact on the way we communicate, learn and think. Immediate and ubiquitous access to information plays an important role in everyday life. Especially now in times of pandemic, our dependence on this technology is increasing even more. Between February and April 2020, internet traffic increased by about 40%1 and mobile network traffic by 50%,2 and there is no indication that this trend will slow down soon. Information connects people but also things. Projections show more than 29 billion devices connected to the network by 2023, with machine-to-machine connections accounting for half of the total.3 This type of communication needs to rely on very high transmission speed and low latency to enable mission-critical applications. Self-driving cars and advanced driver assistance systems are great examples of the importance of transportation speed and latency. When it comes to connected driving, the data must be transmitted and analyzed in real time, because decisions must be made in milliseconds so that the car can stop before hitting an obstacle or acting to ensure the safety of the occupants. High transmission speed can save lives and make driving safer. Move up mmWave The radio spectrum is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with a frequency from 30 to 300 GHz. Until recently, frequencies used for communication purposes were limited to the microwave band, which was usually defined to cover the range from 3 to 30 GHz. The majority of commercial wireless networks use the lower part of this band – between 800MHz and 6GHz, aka sub-6GHz. This means that the 3G/4G/5G cellular connection on your smartphone, your home Wi-Fi, the Bluetooth connection on your wireless headset, and just about anything you can think of will use these frequencies to transmit information. This represents the major critical challenge for today’s wireless network. While the number of users and devices that consume data is increasing exponentially, the frequency range of the radio spectrum available by carriers has not changed. This means that a limited amount of bandwidth is allocated to each user, which leads to slower speeds and frequent outages. One of the ways we must solve this problem is to transmit signals on bands where the spectrum is readily available. The millimeter wave (mmWave) range is particularly interesting, given the huge amount of untapped bandwidth found in this part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The main advantages of mmWave waves are frequency reuse and channel bandwidth, which makes this band particularly suitable for high-throughput multi-gigabit mobile communication systems and satellites. Also, components that operate in mmWave ranges are more compact and smaller in size, which makes them particularly useful in a scenario where we have a high density of devices running at the same time and in close proximity. These advantages make mmWave technology the way to enhance the performance of our data transfer – the turbo engine of the information age. Let’s explore four use cases where mmWave technology is the main enabler. Four use cases of mmWave technology, with reference to frequency coverage and signal bandwidth Multi-gigabit connection: Meeting the need for capacity and speed Meeting the demand for high-quality services for the exponentially growing number of subscribers accessing the mobile cellular network is essential for network operators. The sub-6 GHz cellular bands, used in today’s latest communication systems, are very crowded and fragmented. Therefore, to meet the expected and desired data transfer rate, the higher frequency bands in the mmWave band must be adopted in such a way as to accommodate more users in the part of the spectrum that is still free of interference and not yet distributed. mmWave bands offer new ownership and large information bandwidth, allowing data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbit/s. This speed is comparable to optical fiber and is 100 times faster than current 4G technology. More users and more connections means stress on the network. While we assume that air is used as a radio transmission medium and has no bandwidth limitation, in fact it is. If the number of connections increases and the network does not adapt to this new need, our lives will be as if we are in a big stadium attending a football match and unable to call or text our friends because of the huge number of users who want to do the same things at the same time. New technology such as 5G or Wi-Fi (802.11ay) is designed to overcome those challenges and ensure what is defined as “great service in a crowd”. Millimeter wave properties, for example, are very important to meet this challenge. Due to the characteristics of higher frequencies with respect to atmospheric absorption, as you move to higher frequencies, the transmission range becomes shorter. Millimeter waves allow near-range communication of up to 100 metres, rather than kilometres. In this scenario, the frequency can be reused, allowing networks that do not interfere with each other to run at the same time. Techniques such as packet shaping also increase the capacity of the cellular network, improving transmission efficiency aimed at users. Satellite Communications: Enable a More Flexible Approach Satellite communications play a vital role in the global communications system. There are currently more than 3,000 operational satellites in orbit around the Earth and more than 1,800 communications satellites. In the past two years, several commercial satellite operators have begun launching high-throughput satellite constellations. These next-generation satellites will be able to provide much greater throughput, up to 400%, compared to traditional fixed, broadcast, and mobile satellite services. This significant increase in capacity is achieved by using a “spot packet” architecture to cover a desired service area, such as in a cellular network, in contrast to the broadband used in traditional satellite technology. This architecture takes advantage of a higher transmit/receive gain, allowing the use of higher order modulation, so as to achieve a higher data rate. Also, being a service area covered by multiple point beams, it allows operators to configure multiple beams to reuse the same frequency band and polarization, boosting capacity when it is needed and desired.4 Most of today’s high-throughput satellites operate in the Ku (12-18 GHz) band Ka (26.5-40 GHz), but the frequencies increase with propagation on the way in the Q and V bands (40-75 GHz). Car Radar: Utilizing mmWave Accuracy Car radar is one of the most reliable technologies for detecting object distance (range) and movement, including speed and angle in nearly every situation. Uses reflected radio waves to detect obstacles behind other obstacles and low signal processing requirements Automotive radar sensor technology, popularized by 24GHz narrowband sensors, is now rapidly developing towards high-frequency 76- to 81GHz bandwidth and 5GHz broadband, which Provides superior range accuracy and immunity against obstructions such as fog and smoke. The magnitude of improvement achieved by higher frequency and wider bandwidth automotive radar systems in range resolution is large, because the errors in distance measurement and the minimum solvable distance are inversely proportional to the bandwidth. Moving from 24GHz to 79GHz provides 20x better performance in terms of resolution and bandwidth. Also, with a smaller wavelength, the accuracy and accuracy of velocity measurement increases proportionally. Therefore, by moving from 24 GHz to 79 GHz, the speed measurements can be improved by a factor of 3 x. Another benefit of moving from legacy 24GHz to 79GHz systems is increased size and weight. Since the wavelength of the 79 GHz signals is one-third of the 24 GHz system, the total area of the 79 GHz antenna is one-ninth of a similar 24 GHz antenna. Developers can use smaller, lighter sensors and more easily disguise them for better fuel economy and vehicle designs.5 Extended Reality: The Beginning of a New Era Extended Reality (XR) is an emerging umbrella term for all immersive technologies – augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). ) and mixed reality (MR) and the interpolated area between them. XR will have exciting applications in fields as diverse as entertainment, medicine, science, education, and manufacturing, changing the way we see and interact with the world around us, whether it’s real or computer generated. While VR and AR applications are already in the market, the rate of adoption is slow, and the main reasons are bandwidth and response time. Today’s wireless networks place serious limitations on those applications, such as latency and capacity, that can completely nullify the user experience. Millimeter wave technology, as applied in 5G, with its increased transmission bandwidth and reduced latency, will enhance existing experiences and enable new ones, paving the way for mass adoption. However, to provide truly immersive AR, a data rate increase of at least tenfold is needed, which presents significant challenges for actual 5G technology.6 However, technology continues to innovate, and this time, the radio spectrum will be pivotal to addressing these challenges. challenges. 6G will be the sixth generation of broadband wireless technology, expanding the availability of frequency bands to the terahertz bands, above the mmWave frequency band where 5G operates. 6G will also increase the data rate from 5G’s 20Gbps to 1TB. In addition, the 6th generation technology will reduce the latency to less than 1 millisecond. As a result, the capacity of 6G traffic from 5G will increase from 10 Mbps/m to a theoretical maximum of 10 Gbits/m. 3D communication, haptic internet, and fully immersive augmented reality/virtual reality are among the other applications that this future technology will make possible, and once again, mmWave is the driver of this change and may be the reason for the start of a new era where creativity and imagination will take center stage. in our presence. References 1https://www.iea.org/reports/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks 2https://www.ericsson.com/en/mobility-report/dataforecasts/mobile-traffic-update? gclid = EAIaIQobChMI183k18nh7gIVitPtCh3NsA-tEAAYASAAEgJksPD_BwE & gclsrc = aw.ds 3 www.avantiplc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ADL_High_Throughput_Satellitescom/pdf/keys18_Research -06176/white-papers/5992-3004.pdf 6https://cdn.codeground.org/nsr/downloads/researchareas/20201201_6G_Vision_web.pdf About the author Giovanni Demore is Director of Product Marketing, a pioneer in radio-frequency and microwave products, In Keysight Technologies. Prior to that, he held various positions in marketing, business development and application support across multiple product lines with Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies and now Keysight Technologies. Giovanni is an engineer with a master’s degree. He received his Ph.D. in Electronics and Telecommunications from the University of Palermo, Italy, and has authored numerous articles on microwave measurement techniques. He is a regular speaker at microwave conferences such as IMS and EuMW. .