Newswise — # The Korean The government aims to commercialize 6G by 2028, with a total investment of KRW 1 trillion in related research, which will lead to increased interest in frequencies for 6G. However, the lack of standards for measuring electromagnetic waves in the sub-Terahertz frequency range, a promising candidate for 6G, makes it difficult to verify technological reliability.
Korea Research Institute for Standards and Science (KRISS, President Hyun-min Park) developed an electromagnetic wave measurement standard for a candidate 6G frequency band.
Newly developed standard concerns electromagnetic impedance* of the D band (110-170 GHz), which shows promise as a candidate frequency band for 6G. It is one of the essential standards among electromagnetic wave measurement standards, serving as a criterion for evaluating performance in fields where electromagnetic waves are used, such as communication and defense.
* Impedance: fundamental value in the measurement of electromagnetic waves which indicates the degree of resistance encountered during the propagation of electromagnetic waves.
The frequency range to be used for 6G has not yet been decided. However, the high frequency range is considered suitable for rapid transmission of large capacity data, because the higher the frequency range, the wider the communication bandwidth in general. This is similar to how 16-lane roads can handle more traffic than two-lane roads. The frequency of the D band, corresponding to the sub-Terahertz** range among the high frequency bands, has become a candidate frequency for 6G. This is because it suffers minimal losses from water vapor or oxygen and can transmit a large number of signals over a wide bandwidth, both remotely and uniformly.
** Sub-Terahertz: A frequency range of 100 to 300 GHz, attracting attention as a candidate frequency for 6G that allows transmission of 1 TB per second.
The KRISS Electromagnetic Wave Metrology Group has established an electromagnetic wave impedance measurement standard for D-band, becoming the third in the world after Japan and Germany. Additionally, international equivalence was ensured through comparison with Germany. This is the first international comparison of impedance measurement standards above 110 GHz.
The primary frequency range for 5G communications is below 30 GHz, and established standards for measuring electromagnetic waves have been limited to frequencies below 110 GHz. Even if 6G-related components or parts usable above D-band are developed, there is a lack of standards for performance evaluation.
The development of a new standard makes it possible to verify the performance of various 6G-related components and parts with high reliability. This standard applies not only to 6G but also to all areas using electromagnetic waves at D-band frequencies, including defense radar systems.
KRISS has developed its own D-band impedance calibration device to distribute the new electromagnetic wave standard to the industrial sector. Previously, circuit analyzers used for impedance measurements had to be calibrated with an expensive imported device. However, through this domestication, more accurate measurement standards can now be provided to industry at significantly reduced costs.
Dr. Jae-Yong Kwon, head of the Electromagnetic Wave Metrology Group, said: “The development of the new standard and domestication of the calibration device will help Korea ensure the international credibility of the national 6G technology. We will establish additional electromagnetic wave measurement standards for RF power, attenuation, antennas, etc., and continue follow-up research up to the 300 GHz frequency band, enabling stable adaptation to 6G.
Such follow-up research has not yet been explored internationally and the KRISS Electromagnetic Wave Metrology Group has received collaboration proposals from leading countries such as Germany and the United States. KRISS plans to continue its research to ensure Korea’s leadership in 6G technology by working closely with its industry and academic partners, including LG Electronics and KAIST.
Supported by KRISS, the results of this study were published in the international journal IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement (IF: 5.6) in July 2023.