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Sub-Terahertz Channel Sounding and FPGA Customization of a 6G Testbed Receiver


6G 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 Testbed for 6G Research” introduced a testbed 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.



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