FOURTH IEEE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON TERAHERTZ COMMUNICATIONS
Workshop Date: Monday, 14 June 2021
SCOPE AND TOPICS OF THIS WORKSHOP
Over the last few years, wireless data traffic has drastically increased due to a change in the way today’s society creates, shares and consumes information. In parallel to the massive growth in the total number of mobile connected devices, there has been an increasing demand for higher speed wireless communication anywhere, anytime. Wireless data rates have doubled every eighteen months for the last three decades. Following this trend, Terabit-per-second (Tbps) links will become a reality within the next five years.
In this context, Terahertz (THz)-band (0.1–10 THz) communication is envisioned as a key wireless technology to satisfy such demand, and is regarded as one pillar technology for 6G. This frequency band, which lies in between millimeter-waves and the far infrared, remains still one of the least explored regions in the EM spectrum. For many decades, the lack of compact high-power signal sources and high-sensitivity detectors able to work at room temperature has hampered the use of the THz band for any application beyond sensing. However, many recent advancements with different technologies is finally closing the so-called THz gap. For example, on the one hand, in an electronic approach, III-V semiconductor technologies have demonstrated record performance in terms of output power, noise figure, and power-added efficiency at sub-THz frequencies, and are quickly approaching the 1 THz mark. On the other hand, in a photonic approach, optical down-conversion systems and quantum cascade lasers are rising as potential candidates for high-power high-speed THz-band communication systems. More recently, the use of nanomaterials such as graphene is enabling the development of novel plasmonic devices, which intrinsically operate in the THz-band.
THz-band communication brings many new opportunities to the wireless communication community. The very large available bandwidth at THz-band frequencies (at least several hundreds of GHz) will alleviate the spectrum scarcity problems and capacity limitations of current wireless networks, and enable new applications in the consumer, industrial, medical and military fields, including Terabit WPAN for multimedia kiosks, Terabit WLAN for indoor small cells, outdoor wireless backhaul provisioning and space/satellite communications. In addition, the very small size of THz transceivers and antennas can be leveraged to enable the communication between nanoscale devices, including biological nanosensors for healthcare systems, massive multi-core wireless networks on chip, and the Internet of Nano-Things.
Nevertheless, this very large bandwidth comes at the cost of a very high propagation loss, mainly because of molecular absorption, which also creates a unique distance dependence on the available bandwidth. All these introduce many challenges to practical THz communication systems and require the development of innovative solutions. Moreover, many of these might be helpful for broadband wireless communication systems below and above the THz band, i.e., mm-waves and optical wireless communications, respectively.
In this workshop, the covered topics include but are not limited to THz transceivers, antennas and antenna arrays; information theoretic analysis of THz communication systems, THz channel modeling, estimation and equalization techniques; ultra-broadband modulation and waveform design; beamforming, precoding and space-time coding schemes; MAC design and interference management; relaying and routing in ultra- broadband networks; system-level modeling and experimental platforms and demonstrations.
The way in which today’s society creates, shares and consumes information has resulted in an unprecedented increase in the total number of interconnected devices as well as in the data rates at which these devices transmit information. As millimeter wave communication becomes an industry standard, there is a need to explore new wireless technologies beyond 300 GHz. Thanks to major breakthroughs in novel THz devices, it is now the right time for the wireless communication community to enter the field.
THz technology has been identified by DARPA as one of the four major research areas that could eventually have an impact on our society larger than that of the Internet itself. Similarly, the development of a new communication and networking technology to support networks with “billions of connected nanosystems” has been identified as one of the four essential components of the next IT revolution by the Semiconductor Research Consortium (SRC) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), who are now supporting multiple large-scale research initiatives in THz communications. More recently, THz communications has been identified by IEEE COMSOC as one of the nine communication technology trends to follow.
Another aspect to highlight is the fact that the THz band is not yet regulated. In particular, in the US, only the spectrum from 95 GHz to 275 GHz has been allocated for different services, but currently there are no licensed or unlicensed active services above 95 GHz. The IEEE 802.15 Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN) Terahertz Interest Group (IGTHz) was created back in 2008, with the aim of collecting under one umbrella all the standardization efforts for future communication systems in the THz band. Later on, as a spin-off from the group, the IEEE 802.15 WPAN Task Group 3d 100 Gbit/s Wireless was created and developed the first standard for communications at 300 GHz (IEEE 802.15.3d-2017 standard). It is truly the right time for the community to meet, present the state of the art and discuss the future of this field.
Targeted attendees of the workshop include but are not limited to academic researchers in the field of 5G and beyond, millimeter waves, optical wireless communications, as well as inter-disciplinary areas of nanotechnologies, antennas and propagation, and material sciences. Also, this workshop is expected to attract attendees from the funding agencies, industrial partners, and standardization groups, who have strong interests in future-generation wireless systems.