Mark Tomesen is NXP’s Senior Director of R&D and Innovation. He was a speaker
IEEE 5G++ Summit in Dresden, Germany, to discuss Beyond 5G (B5G) and the transition to
6G networks. “NXP has good opportunities to improve and augment automotive
safety with the advent of B5G/6G” Mark told the audience, explaining how the
company will be able to improve safety of traffic and mobility cases making
use of new communication network techniques.
Getting the Right Technologies in Place
As part of 5G's new frequency spectrum, up to 7.125 GHz frequency bands FR1
have been assigned as well as new FR2 frequency expansion bands like 26-30 GHz
and 37-47 GHz. NXP is well prepared to serve the requirements of these bands,
with significant investment in three distinct, complementary technologies.
With LDMOS, Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS, we are
in a strong position. These technologies allow NXP to create ICs to operate at
frequencies well into the mm-Wave space. As a next step into 6G exploration at
Terahertz frequencies is started.
Joint Communication and Sensing
The higher bandwidths of 100 GHz and above are seeing more traction for their
great potential, especially with joint communication and sensing (JCAS). This is now possible at even higher accuracies, which can help improve the
safety of mobility applications by enhancing it with network sensing
Productivity, Interactivity, Entertainment
For 6G, the core communication demands are to move cellular data around for
productivity, interactivity and entertainment. Base stations will be able to
offer even more than they do now, since so many of them are installing meaning
operation at inter-site distances of less than a kilometer. This densification
of network infrastructure, the base stations for 5G, can provide increased
situational awareness on top of the information the many additional connected
devices already bring. The infrastructure can be implemented using dual use
base stations providing both the communications as well as the sensing
Cost-Effective Sense Awareness
Combining communication and sensing is not a costly proposition, with dual-use
designs making it possible to add sensing capabilities to 5G base stations.
First of all, the combination can improve beam-forming capabilities of the
radio network itself and furthermore, it can provide sensing information to
create additional awareness. As a result, we will see better safety across the
network for connected vehicles and their passengers, as well as pedestrians
and other road users. We saw a demonstration of this at the summit, where
Ericsson showed video
of a use case where the cellular 6G system prevented a collision of a bus and
a cyclist by providing timely warning (the traffic scene part of the video
starts at 9 minutes and 30 seconds).
6G and the Safer Road Ahead
Signposts and traffic lights can be used as part of the sensing
infrastructure, with many options to implement this safety set-up. The core
though, is that sensing at these cross-sections is more complete, with more
and better safety functions. As well as enhancing safety with better
perception of the environment, 6G will enable us to see even more data-driven
services such as HD mapping, sensing augmented by machine learning and remote
services like maintenance.