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Japan and US to partner on 6G standards

This comes as Chinese companies are entering this space, seeking to get their 6G tech into international standards

Japan and the US are set to work together to lead the creation of international standards in unmanned technology that uses 6G communications.

With 6G expected to be widely adopted around 2030, the two countries are aiming to keep Chinese companies from dominating the field, with companies like Huawei, Alibaba, and Tencent aiming to make their 6G unmanned tech into international standards.

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications may call on companies to form a 6G consortium by September, according to a report from Nikkei Asia.

The consortium will reportedly draw from a range of industries including those involved in communications devices, mobiles, drones, timepiece manufacturing and automobiles. This group will also invite US partners that are strong in software and engage in expansion overseas.

There are plans to commercialise technology for chip-scale atomic clocks by 2025. These components act like sensors and are seen as indispensable for real-time remote control. Adding them to automated vehicles and drones may make it possible to precisely determine the time and their locations, the way atomic clocks in GPS satellites currently do.

Japan’s communication ministry will reportedly partly support funding for research and development together with pilot testing, with the assistance lasting for four years starting from 2022. However, it wasn’t revealed how much this funding will be.

The ministry will also consider providing the consortium with technology for specialised semiconductors developed by an R&D organisation overseen by the ministry called the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.

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China has made progress with its 6G technology recently when earlier this month, a Chinese laboratory made a breakthrough in 6G-oriented terahertz 100/200 Gbits/sec real-time wireless communication with what it claimed to be the fastest speed ever recorded. The project achieved a single-wavelength net rate of 103.125 Gbps and dual-wavelength terahertz wireless transmission with a net rate of 206.25 Gbits/sec.

This isn’t the first time Japan has been seeking partnerships when it comes to 6G, as in June last year, Japanese and Finnish industry groups were set to conduct 6G research and development. The groups wanted to lead the formation of 6G standards. The partnership includes an exchange of information and publications, personnel exchange, and collaborative research and development projects.

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