Wireless

RISE-6G: dynamically programmable wireless environments

10th February 2021
Alex Lynn

CEA-Leti has announced a EU 6G research project for next-generation wireless connectivity. Called RISE-6G, it will design, prototype and test smart and energy-sustainable technological advances based on reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) that will enable programmable control and shaping of the wireless propagation environment.

These surfaces may be diode-based antennas or metamaterials for coating objects in the environment, such as walls, ceilings, mirrors and appliances, and they will operate as reconfigurable reflectors or transceivers for massive access when equipped with active radio-frequency (RF) elements.

“Our mission is to enable this disruptive new concept as a service for the wireless environment by dynamically controlling wireless communication for local, brief and energy-efficient, high-capacity communications,” said Emilio Calvanese Strinati, RISE-6G project coordinator and 6G future wireless research director at CEA-Leti. “The system also will ensure energy efficiency, localisation accuracy and privacy guarantees against eavesdroppers, while accommodating specific regulations on spectrum use and restrained electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions.”

As part of its goal to demonstrate a scalable, smart, wireless connectivity paradigm enabled by RIS, the pan-European project will address the design of key hardware building blocks and their integration in future B5G/6G networks.

To achieve its goals, the RISE-6G objectives are to:

  • Define novel network architectures and operation strategies incorporating multiple reconfigurable intelligent surfaces.
  • Characterise the new system’s fundamental limits capitalising on the proposed realistic and validated radio-wave propagation models.
  • Design solutions to enable online trade between high-capacity connectivity, energy efficiency, EMF exposure and localisation accuracy based on dynamically programmable wireless propagation environments, while accommodating specific legislation and regulation requirements on spectrum use, data protection, and electromagnetic field (EMF) emission, and.
  • Prototype-benchmark proposed innovation via two complementary trials with verticals (Fiat Industry 4.0 production site and SNCF train station).

Expected to be deployed by the end of this decade, B5G/6G networks will create the basis for human-centered smart societies and vertical industries. To accomplish this, advances will be expected to support the long-term, sustainable transformation of networks into a distributed smart-connectivity infrastructure, where new terminal types, e.g. mirrors, signs and walls, are embedded in the environment.

In addition to responding to regulations and specific user-, service- and location-based needs, targeted innovations include an end-to-end, connectivity-computation system with high flexibility and dynamism that accommodates continuously evolving and heterogeneous applications.

By dynamically controlling RIS-enabled communication environments, mobile network users will gather in optimised ‘ultra-capacity/gigabit areas’ with controlled energy consumption and circumscribed EMF to avoid interference from unconnected devices and to minimise their impact on the people around them.

“RISE-6G will lend itself to a revolutionary flow of the current network paradigm by contributing with novel technologies and strategic business plans that will have a remarkable societal impact in the near future,” Calvanese Strinati added.

The project is poised to actively participate in standardisation bodies and bring its technically advanced vision into the planned industrial implementation. This will secure European technology leadership, supporting the creation of new European-conceived service and business opportunities in the B5G/6G global race.

Project team

Officially launched on January 1st, 2021, with a planned duration of three years, the RISE-6G project will be piloted by CEA-Leti. The consortium includes 13 partners from seven countries representing the academic, research and industrial sectors:

  • Industry: NEC Laboratories Europe GMBH (technical coordinator, network vendor), Orange and Telecom Italia (telecom operators); Greenerwave (technology provider).
  • Academia: Chalmeers University, Aalborg University, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University of Notthingam.
  • Research: CEA-Leti, Consorzion Nazionale Interuniversitario Italiano, Centre National de la Recherche Sceintifique.
  • Other: the French national rail society (SNCF) and Centro Ricerche Fiat (vertical industries and end users).

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