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6G: Going Beyond 100 Gbps to 1 Tbps

White Papers

6G research is in its very early stages. The vision for what the International Telecommunication Union calls Network 2030 continues to take shape. While the industry is years away from starting the standards development process, sub-terahertz (sub-THz) territory is a focus of active research.

Getting to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) to 1 terabit per second (Tbps) data throughput is a key objective and an active area of research for 6G. This extreme data throughput could evolve into a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for 6G. However, it poses significant challenges, both from an RF perspective and baseband perspective.

There are three fundamental approaches to increasing data throughput. One approach involves using higher-order modulation schemes such as 64 QAM to increase the number of bits transmitted for each symbol. Given a fixed and finite spectrum bandwidth, increasing the modulation order from QPSK (transmitting two bits for each symbol) to 64 QAM (transmitting six bits for each symbol) would increase the data throughput by a factor of three, if channel conditions and radio performance allow. A 1 GHz QPSK symbol rate would result in a 2 Gbps theoretical raw calculated data throughput without forward error correction (FEC) coding rate redundancy. 

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