i2CAT releases Shaping the 6G Vision Whitepaper

The i2CAT Foundation is a non-profit research and innovation centre that promotes mission-driven knowledge to solve business challenges, co-create solutions with a transformative impact, empower citizens through open and participative digital social innovation with territorial capillarity, and promote pioneering and strategic initiatives.

i2CAT’s activities span the areas of Research, playing a key role in the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation; Strategic Projects, leading local initiatives that strengthen the digital policies of public administration, and Technology Transfer, fostering R&D collaboration with companies to develop innovative market-oriented solutions.

Earlier this month, i2CAT published Shaping the 6G Vision white paper which details the i2CAT's research perspective on 6G. The executive summary says:

The communications industry has set the ambitious goal to deliver 6G networks by 2030. 6G is expected to be a key enabling technology that will help realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the twin green and digital transition envisioned by the European Commission. To meet this ambitious goal, 6G research and development activities have already started.

Delivering 6G entails several significant challenges. Among them, we can highlight two: 1) first, the industrial, academic, and user communities need to converge on a common vision defining the scope and design principles of the future 6G system, and 2) 6G key enabling technologies need to be identified so that their associated research challenges can be properly addressed.

i2CAT, as a research and innovation technology center located in Barcelona and focused on digital technologies, is determined to contribute to building 6G.

Motivated by this context, in this white paper, we introduce i2CAT’s view on the future 6G system and we highlight the key technical areas where i2CAT will focus its 6G R&D efforts in the upcoming years. We also describe a set of key R&D assets that will help us maximize the impact of our 6G research. These assets take the form of capabilities, experimental tools, and facilities that i2CAT has developed over recent years through a very strong research, development, and innovation activity around 5G. For example, i2CAT has participated in 16 projects of the European 5G Public Private Partnership, having coordinated three of them, and having acted as technical manager in a further three projects. 

We look forward to collaborating with the interested stakeholders in the exciting 6G journey ahead of us!

The following is i2CAT’s Vision: Future 6G (META) Architecture from the paper:

The European Vision for the 6G Network Ecosystem white paper identifies seven key technical areas that will underpin the design of the future 6G system, namely:

  1. Network Architecture and Control, defining the future architecture of the 6G system.
  2. Edge and Ubiquitous Computing, expanding the 5G edge compute vision towards a cloud continuum that spans from the cloud to the smart device.
  3. Radio Technology and Signal Processing, including disruptive wireless technologies such as Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) and Integrated Sensing and Communication (ISAC).
  4. Optical Networks, to sustain energy efficient Tbps transmission networks.
  5. Network and Service security, embedding security and trustworthiness as native primitives of the 6G system.
  6. Non-Terrestrial Communication, integrating terrestrial and satellite networks to deliver truly ubiquitous coverage.
  7. Device and Component enhancements, required to scale up radio communications to Tbps speeds and to decrease the energy footprint of the ICT infrastructure.

i2CAT is prioritising 1,2,3,5 and 6.

The whitepaper is available here. You can directly download the PDF here.

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