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InterDigital’s 6G Vision of “Zero-energy” (ZE) air-interface designs


In the 6G Summit, Tanbir Haque from InterDigital talked about the need for new Air-Interfaces for Ultra-Low Power Communications and the challenges, solutions and potential benefits associated with that.

The future vision is to have something like 1 Trillion IoT devices in 2030 but it will require us to re imagine the radio transceiver, the air interface and the overall system. Currently used DRX (Discontinuous Reception) & PSM (Power Saving Mode) based approaches in 3GPP LTE-M & NB-IoT suffer from an inherent tradeoff between device reachability & battery life. Longer DRX cycles result in extended battery life at the cost of latency and Devices are not reachable during periods of deep sleep in PSM. Furthermore, mobile devices must make periodic measurements for TAU procedures thereby limiting the maximum achievable battery life. This necessitates the need to introduce on demand features to the 3GPP system framework in order to break this latency vs battery life tradeoff.

On demand features will have to be introduced to the 3GPP/NR system framework using a new class of “zero energy” (ZE) air interfaces that concurrently deliver power and information to devices. Ultra low power receivers that consume few 10s of nanowatt power and are capable of macro like link budgets will need to be developed. Using these new PHY & MAC concepts a scalable system framework will have to be developed and integrated into future cellular networks!!

The slides are available here and the video is embedded below:




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