Keysight Technologies, Inc., in collaboration with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Surrey, has made the first 6G connection at speeds greater than 100 Gb/s over sub-terahertz (THz) frequencies in the U.K.  

Future 6G use cases, such as augmented reality and autonomous vehicles, will require data throughput speeds from 100 Gb/s to 1 Tbps. To achieve the extreme data speeds and low latencies required by these revolutionary use cases, the use of sub-THz frequencies is being explored. However, operations in sub-THz frequency bands introduce signal integrity and path loss challenges that can negatively impact performance.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey established the first sub-THz high throughput 6G testbed in the U.K. to address these challenges. Funded by the U.K. government for 6G research, NPL and Surrey scientists are using the testbed to study and characterize sub-THz signal performance to generate new techniques for optimizing data paths and calibration methodologies.

Located at NPL, this new 6G testbed achieved the U.K.'s first high-speed sub-THz data link. The demonstration was made at a frequency of 300 GHz using both 32 and 64 quadrature amplitude modulation. Built on Keysight's 6G Sub-Terahertz R&D Testbed, the testbed uses the M8194A Arbitrary Waveform Generator combined with Virginia Diode Inc. upconverters/downconverters to generate the signal and Keysight's UXR0704A Infiniium multichannel high-performance 70 GHz oscilloscope to analyze the signal.

Keysight, NPL, and the University of Surrey will demonstrate the new 6G testbed at the Spring 2023 6G Symposium at the University of Surrey, April 24 to 26.

Irshaad Fatadin, principal scientist, National Physical Laboratory, said "6G is a key focus for NPL and we are using our scientific and measurement capabilities to tackle the challenges of this new technology. Our partnership with Keysight will be a critical success factor in our 6G research work."

Mosaab Abughalib, senior research director and general manager for Keysight's Network Emulation Group, said: "Through this partnership we are bringing Keysight solutions and experts together with scientists from NPL and the University of Surrey to unlock the true potential of 6G."