Integrated Compound Semiconductor Circuits — a 6G Communications Systems Perspective

This talk will discuss the integration requirements for emerging 6G communications systems and what we can learn from the current generation of 5G products. Recently we have seen the introduction of advanced array antenna systems for radio access applications. The antenna arrays have been deployed as part of mid-band and mm-wave 5G NR systems but also for terrestrial satellite terminals in Ku-band. The choice of semiconductor technology and integration level in these products is heavily dependent on the operating frequency and the output power of the antenna array. For mid-band (2.7GHz to 6GHz) products the approach has been towards discrete parts while the mm-wave products have favored a more integrated approach. A major trend in current 6G research is to move to even higher frequencies — 100GHz and beyond. What semiconductor and integration technology will be required to build cost-effective active antenna arrays at these frequencies? As with 5G, 6G will not be limited to a single frequency band. Besides the +100GHz frequencies there are also spectrum opportunities in Ku-band. Will the mid-band technologies scale to these higher frequencies?