6G To Deliver Hyper Connected Digital Twins

Samsung has released a white paper entitled “The Next Hyper-Connected Experience for All” outlining the company’s vision for the next generation communication system, namely 6G. The white paper covers various aspects related to 6G, including technical and societal megatrends, new services, requirements, candidate technologies and an expected timeline of standardization.

Samsung’s vision for 6G is to bring the next hyper-connected experience to every corner of life. To accelerate research for 6G, Samsung Research, the advanced R&D hub within Samsung Electronics’ SET Business, founded its Advanced Communications Research Center in May of last year.

“While 5G commercialization is still in its initial stage, it’s never too early to start preparing for 6G because it typically takes around 10 years from the start of research to commercialization of a new generation of communications technology,” explained Sunghyun Choi, Head of the Advanced Communications Research Center.

In the white paper, Samsung expects that the completion of the 6G standard and its earliest commercialization date could be as early as 2028, while mass commercialization may occur around 2030. Both humans and machines will be the main users of 6G, and 6G will be characterized by provision of advanced services such as truly immersive extended reality (XR), high-fidelity mobile hologram and digital replica.

Whereas 5G requirements mainly focused on performance aspects, Samsung defines three categories of requirements that have to be met to realize 6G services – performance, architectural and trustworthiness requirements. Examples of 6G performance requirements are a peak data rate of 1,000 Gbps (gigabits per second) and air latency less than 100 microseconds (μs), 50 times the peak data rate and one-tenth the latency of 5G. A comparison of key performance requirements between 6G and 5G is shown in the adjacent diagram.

The architectural requirements of 6G include resolving the issues arising from the limited computation capability of mobile devices as well as implementing AI right from the initial phase of technology development and enabling the flexible integration of new network entities. The trustworthiness requirement addresses the security and privacy issues arising from the widespread use of user data and AI technologies.

Digital Twin

With the help of advanced sensors, AI, and communication technologies, it will be possible to replicate physical entities, including people, devices, objects, systems, and even places, in a virtual world. This digital replica of a physical entity is called a digital twin. In a 6G environment, through digital twins, users will be able to explore and monitor the reality in a virtual world, without temporal or spatial constraints. Users will be able to observe changes or detect problems remotely through the representation offered by digital twins.

Users will be even able to go beyond observation, and actually interact with the digital twins, using VR devices or holographic displays. A digital twin could be a representation of a remotely controlled set of sensors and actuators. In this manner, a user’s interaction with a digital twin can result in actions in the physical world. For example, a user could physically move within a remote site by controlling a robot in that space entirely via real-time interactions with a digital twin representation of that remote site.

With the help of AI, digital replication, management of real world and problem detection and mitigation can be done efficiently without the presence or even detailed supervision by a human being. For instance, if a probem is detected in the digital twin representation, AI can invoke required actions in the real world.

Truly Immersive XR

XR is a new term that combines VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR). It has attracted great attention and opened new horizons in various fields including manufacturing industries. Technical development to realize XR is in progress, and new innovative technologies are constantly appearing. The critical obstacle between the potential and reality of XR is hardware. In particular, these technologies require advanced device form-factors, such as hand-held components, to support mobile and active software content. Current mobile devices lack sufficient stand-alone computing capability.

Download the complete white paper