In collaboration with partners and chip manufacturers, the University of Texas at Austin has built a 6G research center

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The University of Texas in Austin is working with semiconductor designers Samsung, Nvidia, and Qualcomm in the 6G@UT research center.

The 6G@UT center will investigate ubiquitous sensing, machine learning, and the ability to use a higher frequency spectrum at mmWave and ‘terahertz’ (THz) bands above 100GHz for next-generation cellular technology including localization.

“Because 5G’s sensing vision was insufficiently challenging, 6G should start with the premise that sensing is not just for reacting to conditions, but anticipating them. So that vital links to automated vehicles, AR/VR headsets, and other latency-sensitive applications can be maintained with absolute reliability.”

Todd Humphreys, associate professor in UT Austin’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Other research areas include the need for new spectrum and low-Earth orbit satellite links to improve coverage across rural and urban areas, as well as the development of new network architectures to enable better resource and infrastructure sharing. The Cockrell School’s Wireless Networking & Communications Group, a 19-year-old research center with more than 25 faculty members and 130 students and researchers, has formed the 6G@UT center.

The center’s founding partners, Samsung, AT&T, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and InterDigital, each fund at least two projects for three years. Researchers from the companies will collaborate with UT faculty and students to create wireless-specific machine learning algorithms, advanced sensing technologies, and core networking innovations that will form the foundation of 6G networks. Other universities in the United States and Europe are collaborating on 6G research (see https://wca.org/munich-and-dresden-will-pool-resources-in-a-6g-hub-to-shape-the-future-of-6g/).

“The advances in both wireless communications and machine learning over the past decade have been incredible, but separate, coupled with vast new sensing and localization abilities, 6G will be defined by an unprecedented native intelligence, which will transform the ability of the network to provide incredible services.”

Jeffrey Andrews, professor in UT Austin’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“Samsung is excited to embark on the upcoming 6G era with UT Austin, which is one of the world’s leading wireless research universities. Together, we will unleash the power of machine learning in future networks and devices, harness the power of new spectrum in THz bands, and bring futuristic applications like holographic calls and immersive AR/VR to life,” said Charlie Zhang, senior vice president of engineering and head of Samsung Research America’s Standards and Mobility Innovation Team.

“6G will mark a watershed moment in the application of AI and machine learning in sensing and wireless communications. We are excited to collaborate with the UT Austin team on this innovative 6G research that will aid in the realization of future communications systems,” said Ronnie Vasishta, Nvidia’s senior vice president of telecommunications.

“Collaborative research projects are critical to shaping our technology roadmap, and InterDigital is excited to be collaborating with The University of Texas and industry peers to establish 6G@UT. This collaborative effort will drive advances in embedded machine learning and sensing technologies, allowing for new physical experiences in a zero-latency world “According to Donald Butts, senior director of strategy at InterDigital, which owns and develops some of the vital CDMA patents.

“Driving wireless technology research and innovation forward to enable new applications is a key priority for Qualcomm. We are proud to collaborate with UT Austin on their 6G@UT research center in our shared vision to embrace foundational technology intersections with industry for new verticals,” said John Smee, vice president of engineering and head of wireless research at Qualcomm.

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