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Sub-Terahertz Channel Sounding Using a New Sub THz Testbed for Research

Using a Sub-THz Testbed for 6G Research

6GResearch6G research is in its very early stages. The vision for what the International Telecommunication Union calls Network 2030 is still taking shape. While the industry is years away from starting the standards development process, sub-terahertz (sub-THz) territory is the focus of active research. Achieving high throughput performance in sub-THz (100–300 GHz) or THz (300 GHz–3 THz) spectrum involves extreme modulation bandwidths.

Researchers require a flexible and scalable testbed to gain insight into their designs’ performance while 6G evolves. Keysight’s white paper “A New Sub-Terahertz Test bed for 6G Research” introduced a test bed for the D (110–170 GHz) and G bands (140–220 GHz) to measure waveform quality through error vector magnitude (EVM) measurements, with modulation bandwidths of up to 10 GHz occupied bandwidth. High-performance multichannel equipment and hardware, combined with flexible signal generation and analysis software, enables the evaluation of candidate waveforms for 6G. Sub-THz frequencies present many unknowns. Determining the level of EVM system performance possible in these new frequency bands and extreme modulation bandwidths is a key area of research. Channel characteristics are another unknown. Reaching data rates of 100 Gb/s or higher can require using high symbol rates with wide modulation bandwidths. This article provides an example of using Keysight’s sub-THz test bed to perform 6G channel sounding research with wide bandwidths at D-band. The test bed uses channel sounding signal generation and analysis software with the same hardware setup used for EVM measurements, to demonstrate how you can address different research areas with the same system.

Channel Sounding Using a Sub-THz Testbed

Channel sounding is the process of measuring the response of a channel to an impulse. If the channel is linear and time in variant, you can predict the response to a signal input into the channel. This is because any signal can be expressed as a linear combination of impulses. You can compute the channel’s response to each impulse (sample) in the signal and then add the responses together to get the total response to the signal, a process also known as convolution.

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