RadioWeaves – physical-layer infrastructure for 6G wireless communication

RadioWeaves is an emerging physical-layer wireless access infrastructure, in which a fabric of distributed radio devices and computing resources serve as a massive distributed antenna array.

The technology builds upon the foundations of massive MIMO and combines the advantages of distributed cell-free architectures and large intelligent surfaces to achieve superior coverage and low power consumption.

RadioWeaves – a fundamental enabler of 6G

RadioWeaves technology is the key to enabling new, innovative use cases ranging from robotized factories, warehouses, and logistics to immersive entertainment for crowds of people to care environments, hospitals, and assisted living to smart homes. It is foreseen to be a fundamental enabler of future 6G and beyond networks, which will offer consistent service and scalable network capacity at unprecedented energy efficiency.

RadioWeaves also provides a connectivity platform for future applications that require interaction between real and virtual worlds.

Many benefits with RadioWeaves

Antennas in RadioWeaves deployments are arranged either in a linear topology (also known as a ”radio stripe”) or in a mesh. In terms of spatial processing, RadioWeaves inherits the fundamental advantages of cellular massive MIMO: operation in TDD, reliance on uplink pilots for all channel estimation tasks, and fully digital RF processing per antenna. Beyond this, there are many other benefits.

First, with increased spatial diversity, a terminal is likely to be close to at least a handful of antennas. This yields a superior degree of macro-diversity against signal blockage, and provides favorable path loss conditions. Second, the angular directions to the service antennas that are visible from a terminal will typically span a broad range, which causes favorable propagation conditions for the transmission of multiple data streams. Exploiting the array gains obtained through beamforming, RadioWeaves can also enable wireless power transfer to improve the range of the wirelessly powered devices.

Illustration RadioWeaves - The emerging physical-layer infrastructure for 6G wireless communications  

Theoretically, the RadioWeaves distributed infrastructure has been shown to achieve many orders of magnitude improvements in quality-of-service and energy efficiency, compared to a conventional collocated MIMO system. Research problems that are being addressed to achieve these performance gains in practice are:

  • Joint scheduling and resource allocation algorithms
  • Methods for initial access and synchronization
  • Reliable positioning and environment learning algorithms
  • Algorithms for communication with passive and backscattering devices

 

Read more on the H2020-REINDEER project webpage.

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