The ThoR consortium brings together the leading Japanese and European players from industry, R&D and academia, whose prior work defines the state-of-the-art in high data rate long range point-to-point THz links. This team has been instrumental in defining and implementing the new IEEE 802.15.3d Standard “100 Gbps Wireless Switched Point-to-Point (P2P) Physical Layer.” ThoR’s technical concept builds on this standard, in a striking and innovative combination using state-of-the-art chip sets and modems operating in the standardized 60 and 70-80 GHz bands, which are aggregated on a bit-transparent high performance 300 GHz RF wireless link offering >100 Gbps real-time data rate capacity.
ThoR will apply these European and Japanese state-of-the-art photonic and electronic technologies to build an ultra-high bandwidth, high dynamic range transceiver operating at 300 GHz combined with state-of-the-art digital signal processing units in two world-first demonstrations:
- >100 Gbps P2P link over 1 km at 300 GHz using pseudo data in indoor and outdoor controlled environments
- >40 Gbps P2P link over 1 km at 300 GHz using emulated real data in a live operational communication network
This will require specific THz PHY technology advances in photo-mixers, amplifiers including travelling wave tube amplifiers, receivers, up-converters and channel aggregation. The success of ThoR will represent the first operational use of THz frequencies in ICT.
ThoR’s technical concept is scalable for full exploitation of the new IEEE 802.15.3d standard. It employs a parallelization of eight THz channels in the IEEE 802.15.3d frequency range from 252-325 GHz, where the four aggregated sub-channels in the 60 or 70-80 GHz bands are up-converted to one of the eight photonic-generated THz frequencies. Such an extended architecture would achieve the maximum data rate of 200+ Gbps as foreseen in the new THz standard in a bit-transparent, real-time data link. The ThoR demonstration will comprise two of these eight THz channels. The scalability of the ThoR solution to 200+ Gbps will be shown by software simulation, which will also integrate the measured characteristics of the hardware developed and used in ThoR.
With its targeted demonstration in a real network environment ThoR will bring THz communications closer to the market. The building blocks developed within ThoR will be useful for other applications, including mm-wave imaging, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and kiosk downloading. This will open new prospects for wireless technologies in terms of applications and use of novel spectrum.
In addition to mature technology the availability of spectrum is the second key enabler for THz communications. ThoR uses novel spectrum potentials in the lower THz frequency range. Although no dedicated allocation exists today in the radio regulation for spectrum beyond 275 GHz, the use of these frequency bands for wireless communications must ensure that passive services (e.g. radio astronomy and earth exploration satellite service) using this part of the spectrum are protected from harmful interference. More detailed conditions for the operation of wireless communications in this frequency band will be defined at WRC 2019. This influential and powerful consortium will directly influence and shape the frequency regulation activities beyond 275 GHz through agenda item 1.15 of WRC 2019. ThoR will work on the characterisation of the antenna and propagation environment and produce advisory documents, which will be fed into the preparatory process of WRC 2019 by ThoR members. Moreover, after WRC 2019 ThoR will work on interference mitigation techniques and planning rules to enable the deployment of 300 GHz P2P links, which comply with the outcome of WRC 2019.
The ThoR consortium builds on strong prior collaboration among its partners on the European and Japanese national levels and through numerous European-Japanese collaborations.