The European Union has handed over €130 million in funding to 27 research projects for the development of the 6G wireless communication. The sum would boost the stakeholders as Europe seeks to keep pace in the next-generation wireless technology with the US and Asian states.
The European Smart Networks and Services JU (SNS JU), allocated the funds that have a budget of €1.8 billion. The body was formed around a couple of years ago to coordinate the member nations for 6G research & development.
As the US partners with Japan, and other countries, and China, South Korea, and other Asian states continue to mark longer strides, the EU is on the onus to make its efforts to achieve milestones in 6G. The bloc hasn’t made as much progress in 5G either due to the geopolitical tussle between the US and Chinese telco gear vendor Huawei.
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Last year, the SNS JU announced €250 million funding in its first round of help for the research projects, for the mid-term 5G and infrastructures for 6G. And while the latest is round two, the body will provide financial assistance for at least twice.
Key Area for Research
The 27 6G projects stress key focus areas such as System Architecture, Wireless Communication Technologies and Signal Processing, Communication Infrastructure Technologies and Devices, Reliable Services and Smart Security, Complementary SNS experimental Pan-EU federated Infrastructure, and SNS Large Scale Trials and Pilots with Verticals. The funding also includes a study into microelectronics. Basically, the idea is to gain some momentum in the 56 technology race as the neighboring blocks make some progress with strategic partnerships.
“In this second call, there is also a strong push towards the advancement of European microelectronics in providing solutions for next-generation communication networks and devices at various levels of the device data processing chain, from baseband and mixed-signal processing to RF and Antenna systems, covering frequency ranges from sub-6GHz up to THz,” the SNS JU said in a statement as it announced three projects in this category- FirstTo6G (Fourier-Domain TRx Solutions Enabling Widespread Realisation of 6G), 6G-REFERENCE (6G Hardware Enablers For Cell Free Coherent Communications & Sensing), and TeraGreen (Towards Energy-Efficient Tbps Wireless Links).
The SNS JU is also keen on cooperating with other states for 6G research. The body allocated funding to a project called 6G-XCEL (6G Trans-Continental Edge Learning) – which will involve deep research cooperation with the states.
In round three, the SNS JU will announce funding for project proposals in January 2024. The 27 6G research projects will kickstart their work from January 2024.
6G will become the successor to the current-generation 5G technology with far more speed and capability. Many states and gear vendors claim that 6G will be available commercially by 2028.