Pat Hindle, MWJ Editor
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Pat Hindle is responsible for editorial content, article review and special industry reporting for Microwave Journal magazine and its web site in addition to social media and special digital projects. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Hindle held various technical and marketing positions throughout New England, including Marketing Communications Manager at M/A-COM (Tyco Electronics), Product/QA Manager at Alpha Industries (Skyworks), Program Manager at Raytheon and Project Manager/Quality Engineer at MIT. Mr. Hindle graduated from Northeastern University - Graduate School of Business Administration and holds a BS degree from Cornell University in Materials Science Engineering.

NI Announces Two Collaborations Forging Ahead with 6G Research

April 29, 2021

In April, NI made the news twice with announcements around 6G. NI and NYU WIRELESS announced that NI joined the university research center at NYU Tandon School of Engineering as an Industrial Affiliate member. Together, the organizations will work to solve industry-defined problems to help make the next generation of wireless research possible.

NI and NYU WIRELESS previously collaborated on 5G technology in 2012 and now they are working together again to conduct wireless research for 6G. One of the goals of 6G is to further expand total network capacity so NI’s primary involvement will be focused on research into THz frequencies exploring under-utilized spectrum, solving problems associated with it, and helping 6G communication come to fruition. NI will gain access to extensive research results as well as faculty and graduate students who are working in this area.

Earlier in April, NI announced it joined the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) Next G Alliance as a founding member. The Next G Alliance initiative seeks to advance North American mobile technology leadership in 6G by building on the long-term evolution of 5G over the next decade. NI will work closely with the Next G Alliance and its members to identify research priorities central to the development, standardization, manufacturing and market readiness for 6G.

The Next G Alliance is named after its primary goal to establish North American preeminence in the 5G evolutionary path and 6G development. It is an outgrowth of ATIS’ Call to Action Promoting U.S. Leadership on the Path to 6G. Collectively, this ecosystem will be central to defining the Next G vision.

As a member of the Next G Alliance, NI will help identify research priorities and connect wireless researchers with leading integrated hardware and software technologies to accelerate engineering discovery—a process that will help create a path forward for the future of wireless. By providing deep domain knowledge and expertise in advanced wireless research, NI will collaborate with researchers as they quickly define and realize the possibilities of the 6G ecosystem to ultimately engineer the extraordinary.

I asked NI experts David Hall and Charles Schroeder if there has been any coalescence around any main goals for 6G since much of it is still in a research stage. They stated these 4 main areas of research:

  • Sub-Terahertz systems to 350 GHz that will be defined by 3GPP as FR3, FR4, FR5, etc.
  • Joint communications and sensing systems
  • Extreme massive MIMO (including distributed MIMO)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms

6G research has started and companies are investing now in future technologies to support it. The U.S. government seems to be making it a priority and funding many areas of research so as not to fall behind other countries.

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