Commerce depends on communications technology now more than ever, demanding improved connectivity, bandwidth, data rates, and latency to grow productivity. With the introduction of 5G technology to the marketplace, new applications in automation, artificial intelligence, and healthcare are now possible. Examples include smart building spaces with integrated sensors and autonomous vehicles that depend on high-speed communications for real-time feedback. The key to these transformative applications is millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands. Recently licensed mmWave bands have targeted data rates of 20 GB/s and latencies less than 2 ms. Many of these properties are simply a consequence of the operating frequencies and channel bandwidths. In contrast to earlier generations, 5G requires fundamentally different hardware and even underlying design principles. Examples include technology to enable real-time beamforming to overcome path loss and maintain signal integrity. Carriers are testing 5G mmWave handsets and small-cell base stations internationally. These tests demonstrate the limitations of many current implementations and the need for new materials, physics, measurement science, devices, and technology. The scope of this special issue will address the questions “what is 5G?”, “what are the challenges?”, “how can materials, physics, and measurements help?”, and “what new technologies and applications are on the horizon?”.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Devices (mixers, amplifiers, switches, filters, antennas, etc.)
- Tunable materials including magnetics and ferroelectrics
- Measurement test methods at mm-wave and THz
- Nonreciprocal materials and devices
- Low loss dielectrics
- Electromagnetic absorbing materials
- Semiconductors for high frequency devices
- Metamaterials and photonic crystals
- Applications including wearables, etc.
Michael Lanagan, the Pennsylvania State University
Nathan D. Orloff, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Rick Ubic, Boise State University
Susan Trolier-McKinstry, the Pennsylvania State University