Lightweight metasurface microwave reflector for 5G, 6G

Lightweight metasurface microwave reflector for 5G, 6G

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Toppan in Japan has developed a lightweight material allows users to control the reflection angle of radio waves in the 1–10 mm wavelength (28GHz) band used in 5G and 6G mobile communications.

The lightweight, flexible sheet has an etched metasurface structure that can reflect 5G and 6G millimeter-band radio waves in specific directions. This enables high-speed, multi-connection communications in radio dead zones.

The surface of the sheet can also be printed with woodgrain, marble, and other designs, enabling use as wallpaper in offices, factory buildings, and other interior spaces.

The 28GHz band is expected to expand to a variety of digital services, including remote monitoring, real-time high-definition video streaming, and video conferencing. However, millimeter-band radio waves are highly directional and have poor obstacle penetrability, which results in the creation of so-called “dead zones” and consequently causes decreased speeds, delays, and other transmission quality issues.

In response, telecommunications companies have begun installing more 5G base and relay stations and implementing more experimental measures, including the installation of radio wave reflectors. Reflectors currently in use are made of thick, heavy pieces of metal that require strong walls for installation. Being made of metal they are also unattractive and must be installed at specific angles to allow radio waves to be reflected in the desired direction, meaning they are lacking in terms of both convenience and safety.

The metasurface structure is arranged in a metallic pattern capable of controlling radio wave reflection phase change, allowing for radio waves in the 1–10 mm band to be reflected in any direction. Installing the reflector in a room can improve connectivity by ensuring millimeter-band waves are delivered to dead zones.

Graphic on reflecting 5G and 6G mmwave signals

Reflecting 5G and 6G mmwave signals

“This product can improve the user experience and facilitate a range of services by making it possible for radio wave signals to reach locations where previously connectivity was impaired,” said Jin Endo, Managing Executive Officer of R&D Strategy and Business Development at Toppan.

“With high-quality designs, it can also blend seamlessly into interiors, delivering an unobtrusive solution to help ensure secure, uninterrupted communication via next-generation networks.”

Going forward, Toppan will develop products for outdoor-use and for future 6G mobile communications. Radio dead zones will be eliminated not only for 5G applications but for 6G as well, thereby ensuring the creation of ultra-high-speed, ultra-low latency, multi-connection data communication environments that are both safe and secure

Toppan plans to collaborate with other companies and organizations working in 5G and related fields to establish spatial design technologies, such as radio-wave-related simulation and radio wave measurement, by using radio wave reflectors, absorbers, and other lightweight, thin, decorative materials that can improve communication environments.

If you enjoyed this article, you will like the following ones: don't miss them by subscribing to :    eeNews on Google News


Linked Articles