A research team of a South Korean university has developed a 738GHz high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) for potential applications in 6G networks.
The team led by professor Kim Dae-hyun of Kyungpook National University’s College of IT Engineering developed the HEMT. It is over 30GHz than the previous record of 700GHz in cutoff frequency.
Kim told TheElec that he hoped the transistor could be used for 6G __ or “beyond 5G” __ and quantum computing applications.
The HEMT was co-developed with researchers of Japanese telco NTT and South Korean company Quantum Semiconductor International (QSI). Their paper was published on December 18 at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting 2020.
Kim said the team optimized various device processes and the materials used. They used indium, gallium and arsenide, he said.
The previous record of 700GHz was announced ten years ago by a research team in Taiwan, the professor said. Around two to three years prior to that, 688GHz was announced, which was seven to eight years after its previous record. These timeline shows that increasing even 30GHz was a difficult task.
6G would likely utilize mostly utilize 300GHz chips, which will take into consideration cutoff frequency, logic and power leakage in gates as well as related amplifiers. An optimized semiconductor device that meets all these criteria for 300GHz will be take the limelight, the professor said
The professor estimated that it would take at least ten years for RF chips capable of processing such frequency to be installed on consumer handsets. It would take several more years after that for the chips to realize their full potential __ and after a stabilization period, telecommunication that shows the true benefits of 300Ghz will happen, Kim added.