With its ability to provide a single platform enabling a variety of services, such as enhanced mobile broadband communications, virtual reality, automated driving, and the Internet of Things, 5G represents a breakthrough in the design of communication networks. Nevertheless, considering the increasing requests for new services and predicting the development of new technologies within a decade, it is already possible to envision the need to move beyond 5G and design a new architecture incorporating innovative technologies to satisfy new needs at both the individual and societal levels.
Today , the CEA Tech’s research institute, CEA-Leti, takes the challenge to start top level scientific research on future enabling technologies that will shape the future sixth generation (6G) of mobile communication networks at the horizon of 2030.
By this horizon, responding to fundamental human and social needs and based on the expected progress in information and communication technologies, 6G will play a significant role in reshaping the world of tomorrow. It will provide an ICT infrastructure that enables end users to perceive themselves as surrounded by a “huge artificial brain” offering virtually zero-latency services, unlimited storage, and immense cognition capabilities. With respect to previous generations, rather than just improving communications capabilities, 6G will fundamentally transform current industries, create new ones, impact societies, and revolutionize how people connect with everything and how everything connects to people and things. Given this context, the fundamental question we wish to address is what are the breakthrough technologies, which should be in 6G and are not in 5G or part of its long-term evolution? The challenges to shape and engineering the future are open.
CEA-Leti has been actively contributing to the scientific and industrial community generating innovative solutions on technologies ranging from theoretical aspects and, algorithms, hardware and prototyping design. Since 3G, CEA-Leti has been pioneering innovative research on future wireless systems. The ‘New-6G’ initiative leaded by our institute and the wireless broadband system laboratory are devoted to research activities and prototyping on 5G, beyond-5G, and 6G research. For the past few years, the institute has been particularly active in the AI field and its implementation in the future communication systems. CEA-Leti is part of the ETSI Experiential Networked Intelligence (ENI) Industrial Standardization Group focusing on the deployment of AI in future cellular networks and have a strong expertise in cellular networks, resource management, heterogeneous networks, and optimization. CEA-Leti has led/taken part in many R&D French, European, and international collaborative projects and has strong links with ICT industry. CEA-Leti (and the wireless broadband system laboratory) is also part of the multidisciplinary institute in artificial intelligence (MIAI), a French multidisciplinary project proposal, which has been selected by the ANR to establish a local network of well-known researchers working on AI.
CEA-Leti is looking for applicants having the required skills to research on one of the key challenges described below:
- Challenge 1: Semantic communication strategies
Development of semantic inference algorithms and semantic communication strategies to incorporate knowledge representation in communication. Shannon’s classical information theory represents the foundation of all modern communications. Yet Shannon theory does not include semantic aspects of information. However, now that communications have reached all the limits predicted by Shannon’s theory, a true leap forward can come from incorporating semantics in communications. References: [J. Bao et al., “Towards a theory of semantic communication,” in Proc. IEEE Network Science Workshop, 2011.] [6G: The next frontier: From holographic messaging to artificial intelligence using sub-Terahertz and visible light communication E Calvanese Strinati, S Barbarossa, et al., IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, 2019].
- Challenge 2: Holistic Management of Communication, Computation, Caching, and Control Resources
A key feature of 6G networks is that the architecture should be designed to handle communication, computation, caching, and control (C4) resources as parts of a single system whose efficient management requires joint optimization. This axe of future 6G innovation brings both the challenges of end-to-end Edge Computing and of nearly deterministic control theory.
- Challenge 3: Energy-Efficient Digital Signal Processing for RF transceivers
A key domain for 6G research is how digital architectures and signal processing can alleviate constraints in RF transceivers where electronics reaches intrinsic physical limits. RF architectures with high linearity specifications together with high efficiency/lower power consumption while considering ever-wider bandwidth can, indeed, be optimized by digital processing techniques. The resulting drastically reduced energy consumption of infrastructures and devices is foreseen as a key enabler to meet sustainable requirements for future 6G. The proposed research methodology embraces in the one hand the use of artificial intelligence based on a mix between model-aided and data-driven approaches, to address issues like power amplifier linearization, automatic gain control, hybrid beamforming and/or self-interference cancellation in massive MIMO transceivers. In the context of CEA Tech /Leti, cross-fertilisation with teams dedicated to disruptive RF components development and to RF front-end design, will allow to capture realistic RF impairments and power consumption models so as to derive highly efficient and relevant digital architectures. In the other hand, the methodology aims at extending, on the longer run, the digital concept to purely software defined radios (SDRs), where the aforementioned optimisations can reach an unprecedented level of performance in disruptive outphasing architecture for massive MIMO applications.
- Challenge 4: Smart low-power versatile integrated antenna system for 6G communication
Ultrawide bandwidth will boost the exploitation of the sub-THz spectrum (100-400 GHz), which comprises several attenuation windows enabling mid-range wireless links. Innovative sub-THz transceivers will be integrated with disruptive fully reconfigurable antenna modules, using advanced semiconductor and packaging technologies, and will embed control and signal processing units to ensure complex functionalities in a cost-effective and ecologically sustainable manner. In this context, the research on novel power-efficient and versatile hybrid antenna architectures (so called, Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces) is essential for the successful development of 6G wireless systems, implementing multiple advanced functionalities, such as dynamic multi-beam steering and pattern shaping, and agile in terms of operating band, emitted power and field polarization. Moreover Innovative RF switches (e.g. NEMS, phase change material based, etc.) will be required to enable an energy efficient control of the antenna modules minimizing the number of active devices and phase-shifters. Last but not least, massive-MIMO techniques will be mandatory and ask for novel cloud computing solutions, including artificial intelligence, to control large antenna arrays and address large-dimension optimization problems.
In such a context, CEA-Leti is looking for a high-level junior researcher that will take in charge the development of one of the 6G key challenges. The candidate will be the owner of the project and will impulse a new dynamic and should present high capabilities at working in a multidisciplinary field with multidisciplinary teams issued from different departments of CEA-Leti.