IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
13–16 September 2021 // Virtual Conference // By 6G Flagship

WS2 – Workshop on Enabling Technologies for Terahertz Communications

Scope 

Terahertz (THz) technology, or what is more and more labelled by the scientific community as beyond 5G communication systems, has attracted a great interest from academia and industry. This is due to several interesting features of THz waves, including the tens and hundreds of gigahertz bandwidths available. Also, as millimetre-wave communication systems mature, the focus of research is, naturally, moving to the THz range. With the increase in bandwidth requirements, the D bands (110-170 GHz) and then the H bands (220-330 GHz) are being increasingly studied for future communication applications. Broad bandwidth of the THz frequency bands can be used for terabit-per-second (Tb/s) wireless indoor communication systems.  

With the attractive feature of ultra-broadband, the exploitation of THz band for future wireless/optical communication has become a hot topic in last years. Although lots of research efforts have been undertaken with state-of-the-art devices and channel propagation, THz techniques are still not enough mature compared to microwave or photonics. As THz for wireless communication cannot be simply implemented with existing techniques, some key issues remain to be addressed before completing their deployment and commercialization. The first and most important is the availability of high-performance devices including powerful THz sources, high gain antennas and sensitive THz detectors, for overcoming the physical attenuations from free space link.  

The THz band gives access to many applications in very diverse domains, ranging from Terabit WPAN to Terabit/s file transferring, small backhaul cells, server farms, or virtual and augmented reality applications. Nevertheless, there are many challenges from the device, communication, and networking perspectives, which require fundamentally new solutions.  

Moreover, the application of integration techniques will play a role to reducing the energy consumption and cost while making the system more compact. Apart from hardware issues, the channel modelling of indoor and outdoor (LOS and NLOS propagation modes) THz wave propagation considering different types of environmental and RF constrains remains to be experimentally tested. Although THz technology could satisfy the demand for an ultra-high data rate, several technical challenges need to be overcome or better understood before its development and future deployment.  

The two main missions of this workshop are to expand the visibility of THz/Terabits communications and gather researchers from different research fields that can foster and develop this very fast-growing field. The workshop aims to attract researchers and academics from various fields of study, ranging from signal processing, THz materials and components, services to THz/Terabits communication and networking researchers.  The potential topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • Terahertz channel modelling and propagation
  • Terahertz modulations and wave transmitters
  • Terahertz wireless/optical detectors/receivers
  • Coding for terabit/s communications
  • System model with array antennas
  • Communication protocols for THz systems  
  • Antenna design for Terahertz systems
  • Terahertz wireless/optical communications and applications  
  • Terahertz indoor communications
  • Signal Processing and Machine Learning for THz Communications 
  • THz imaging, sensing, and localization  
  • Terahertz Automotive Applications 
  • Terahertz 3D Beamforming 
  • Photoconductive antennas and photomixers
  • Advances on experimental hardware design and implementation
  • Advanced discrete-time signal processing techniques
  • Plasmonic waveguides for Terahertz and millimetre-waves 
  • Micromachined circuits for Terahertz applications
  • Filter design and ultra-low-resolution receivers
  • Terahertz based ultra-high bandwidth wireless access networks
  • Terahertz wireless instruments, devices, and components

Workshop chairs / organizers 

General Chair(s) 

Program 

Invited Talks 

Keynote 1:

“Conquering the Terahertz Band for 6G Systems: From Theory to Practice“
Prof. Josep M. Jornet

Abstract: 
The need for higher data-rates and more ubiquitous connectivity for an ever-increasing number of wirelessly connected devices motivates the exploration of uncharted spectral bands. In this context, Terahertz (THz)-band (0.1–10 THz) communication is envisioned as a key wireless technology of the next decade. The very large bandwidth available at THz frequencies (tens to hundreds of consecutive GHz) can alleviate the spectrum scarcity problem while enabling wireless Terabit-per-second (Tb/s) links in personal and local area networks, backhaul for urban and rural areas, and even space networks. Moreover, the very small size of THz transceivers and antennas (submillimetric at THz frequencies) leads to miniature communication devices with applications in wireless networks on chip, wireless nanosensor networks and the Internet of Nano-Things, to name a few. Nevertheless, there are several roadblocks that need to be overcome to tap in the THz band, ranging from the lack of high-power THz sources, high sensitivity detectors and steerable directional antenna systems, to advanced signal processing, communication and networking techniques that can make the most of the ultra-broadband THz channel while overcoming the challenging propagation characteristics of THz waves. In this talk, the state of the art and open challenges to enable THz communication systems will be presented, including THz wave propagation and channel modeling, ultra-broadband physical and link layer solutions, co-existence with scientific users of the spectrum, and innovative platforms for experimental THz research.

Bio:
Josep M. Jornet is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Director of the Ultrabroadband Nanonetworking Laboratory and a member of the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things and the SMART Center at Northeastern University, in Boston, MA. He received the B.S. in Telecommunication Engineering and the M.Sc. in Information and Communication Technologies from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, in 2008. He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, in 2013. From August 2013 and August 2019, he was a Faculty with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. His current research interests are in Terahertz-band communication networks, Wireless Nano-bio-communication Networks, and the Internet of Nano-Things. In these areas, he has co-authored more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 1 book, and has also been granted 4 US patents, which accumulate over 9,600 citations (h-index of 44) as of April 2021. He is serving as the lead PI on multiple grants from U.S. federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier Nano Communication Networks Journal, and serves in the Steering Committee of the ACM Conference Series on Nanoscale Computing and Communications. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award and of several other awards from IEEE, ACM and UB. He is a member of the ACM and a senior member of the IEEE.

Keynote 2:

FEC for THz communication: challenges from an implementation point of view
Prof. Norbert Wehn, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

Bio:
Norbert 
Wehn holds the chair for Microelectronic System Design in the department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He received his Diploma and PhD from the TU Darmstadt in Germany. He is associate editor of various journals and member of several scientific industrial advisory boards and has more than 350 publications in various fields of microelectronic system design. His special research interests are VLSI architectures for mobile communication with strong emphasis on forward error correction techniques, low-power techniques, advanced SoC and memory architectures, 3D integration, reliability issues in SoC, IoT and hardware accelerators for machine learning.
 

Panel Discussion

THz Communication for 6G: Opportunities, Challenges and the Road Ahead

Chair: Prof.  Maziar Nekovee 
Dean of AI Institute, University of Sussex ZJSU, CTOQuantrom Technologies Ltd. 
 

Bio:
Prof. Maziar Nekovee is Dean of 
the AI Institute at University of Sussex-ZJSU and CTO of Quantrom Technologies, a start-up focusing on disruptive technologies for and investment in mobile communication and AI sectors.  His current research focuses on THz communication for 6G and beyond, the applications of 5G/6G and AI in the health and other verticals, and sustainability. Prior to joining U. Sussex in 2017, he was Head of Samsung’s European research and collaboration in 5G, where he developed new radio access technologies operating in millimetre-wave bands Prior to Samsung he was with BT, where he worked on a range of fixed and wireless technologies, including cognitive radio/dynamic spectrum sharing, WiFibased V2X, peer-to-peer and IP multicast. Maziar is the author of 120+ highly cited papers, 15 patents and one book. He has a PhD in Physics and a first degree in EEE, both from the Netherlands He is co-chair of NetWorld Europe ETP, WG on Enabling Technologies and Verticals. 
 


“A Survey of Use Cases for Terahertz Communications”
Dr. Valerio Frascolla, Director of Research and Innovation at Intel, Germany 

Abstract: 
As of end of April 2021, more than 160 operators in more than 60 countries have launched 3GPP 5G Phase 1 compliant networks. Meanwhile deployments are currently gearing up towards 3GPP 5G Phase 2 compliant networks, work in standard bodies have started on the first set of the so called Beyond 5G features, i.e., those defined by 3GPP Release 18 and onwards, as Release 17 is considered mostly a short release (also due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has slowed down the 3GPP roadmap) mainly meant to small improvement and bug fixes.
 

The forthcoming new set of features will pave the way for the preliminary work to define the 6G systems technology and feature sets. One of the ingredients of that innovation path towards 6G is deemed to be a broader usage of THz communications, moving beyond the 100 GHZ spectrum bands for worldwide commercial deployment. 

At the current state of the knowledge, what are the envisioned scenarios and use cases that will require THz communications? Which are the verticals that will benefit most from a broad and economically viable availability of THz communication technologies? 

This speech will both provide answers to those questions and open the floor for an interactive discussion with the other panellists and the audience on a couple of controversial topics.’

Bio:
Valerio Frascolla (MSc and PhD in Electronic Engineering) is Director of Research and Innovation at Intel and had been working at Ancona University, Comneon, Infineon, and as reviewer for the European Commission. He serves as chairman of several workgroups in European associations and is board of directors member of the BDVA association. He has expertise in wireless systems architecture, requirements management, and standardization. He is author of 70+ publications, reviewer for 25+ journals, has participated in the TPC of 60+ conferences.

 

“THz front ends for long range links: challenges and perspectives”
Prof. Claudio Paoloni, Head of Engineering Department, Lancaster University, UK 

Abstract: 
Ultra-high data rate permeating our cities and low-cost low-footprint THz front ends with ultra-low latency are among the major challenges to fully enabling 6G concepts.
 

In recent years, a substantial research effort for developing THz wireless technology has opened promising perspectives, but has also highlighted formidable obstacles, for a wide deployment of high data rate wireless at THz frequencies. Front ends at W-band (92 – 110 GHz), D-band (130 – 174.8 GHz), G-band (200 – 310 GHz) and above have demonstrated up to tens of gigabit per second data rate. 

However, high rain attenuation in addition to the free path loss and the low transmission power available limit the link range at the increase of the frequency and can be only partially compensated by very high gain antennas with large footprint. 

This talk will discuss the latest progresses for network architectures and front-end technology, for enabling long range high-capacity point to point and point to multipoint distribution above 100 GHz.

Bio:
Claudio Paoloni received the degree cum laude in Electronic Engineering from the University of Rome “Sapienza”, Italy. Since 2012, he has been Cockcroft Chair with the Engineering Department, Lancaster University, U.K. Since 2015, he has been the Head of Engineering Department. He is member at large of the Board of Governors of IEEE Electron Devices Society. He is IEEE Senior member and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was Chair of the IEEE Electron Devices Society Vacuum Electronics Technical Committee (2017 – 2020). He was Guest Editor for the Special Issue of Transaction on Electron Devices on Vacuum Electronics (June 2014). He is member of the editorial board of Journal of Infrared and millimetre waves. He organised numerous international conferences, workshops and panels, on vacuum electronics, millimetre wave and terahertz communications and technology. He is regular member of TPC of major conferences. He is presently TPC Chair of the UK, Europe, China Millimeter Waves and Terahertz Technology Workshop (Virtual). He is coordinator of two European Commission Horizon 2020 projects, TWEETHER and ULTRAWAVE and Principal Investigator in several EPSRC (UK) research grants. He is author of more than 240 articles in international journals and conferences in the field of high frequency electronics, millimetre waves and THz vacuum electronics devices, microfabrication, wireless communications.

 

“Towards 6G: Paradigm of Realistic Terahertz Channel Modeling”
Prof.  Ke Guan, Deputy Director of Institute of Modern Communication Beijing Jiaotong University, China  

Abstract: 
Terahertz (THz) communications are envisioned as a key technology for the sixth-generation wireless communication system (6G). However, it is not practical to perform large-scale channel measurements with high degrees of freedom at THz frequency band. This makes empirical or stochastic modelling approaches relying on measurements no longer stand. In order to break through the bottleneck of scarce full-dimensional channel sounding measurements, this talk presents a novel paradigm for THz channel modelling towards 6G. With the core of high-performance ray tracing (RT), the presented paradigm requires merely quite limited channel sounding to calibrate the geometry and material electromagnetic (EM) properties of the three-dimensional (3D) environment model in the target scenarios. Then, through extensive RT simulations, the parameters extracted from RT simulations can be fed into either ray-based novel stochastic channel models or cluster-based standard channel model families. Verified by RT simulations, these models can generate realistic channels that are valuable for the design and evaluation of THz systems. Representing two ends of 6G THz use cases from microscopy to macroscopy, case studies are made for close-proximity communications, wireless connections on a desktop, and smart rail mobility, respectively. Last but not least, new concerns on channel modelling resulting from distinguishing features of THz wave are discussed regarding propagation, antenna array, and device aspects, respectively.
 

Bio: 
Dr. Ke Guan is a Full Professor in State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU). In 2015, he has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship. He has authored/co-authored more than 260 journal and conference papers, receiving eight Best Paper Awards, including IEEE vehicular technology society 2019 Neal Shepherd memorial best propagation paper award. His current research interests include measurement and modeling of wireless propagation channels for various applications in the era of 5G and beyond. He is an Editor of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, the IEEE ACCESS and the IET Microwave, Antenna and Propagation. He is the contact person of BJTU in 3GPP and a member of the IC1004 and CA15104 initiatives.
 

Moderator

Prof.  Maziar Nekovee
Dean of AI Institute, University of Sussex ZJSU, CTOQuantrom Technologies Ltd. 

Panel Members

Dr. Valerio Frascolla
Director of Research and Innovation at Intel, Germany

Prof. Claudio Paoloni
Head of Engineering Department, Lancaster University, UK

Prof.  Ke Guan
Deputy Director of Institute of Modern Communication Beijing Jiaotong University, China