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The project will build a Terahertz based Ultra High Bandwidth Access Network (TERAPOD). A TERAPOD cell is a very small cell of coverage approx. sub 10 meters making it comparable in coverage to a femtocell. However, it could potentially deliver several orders of magnitude higher throughput (x103). This will be demonstrated in a particular use case scenario of wireless network access in Data Centres.

Data centres are ideal first adopter candidates, the partners say, as they provide controllable environmental conditions, which can be favourable for THz wave propagation such as a low moisture atmosphere, limited mobility and limited dynamic channel activity. However simulation and modelling of other deployment settings will also be carried out such as homes, offices and factories.

THz system component development for the purpose of imaging using techniques such as time domain spectroscopy (TDS) has come a long way over the last 10 – 15 years or so. However little has progressed beyond the development of devices to deliver a cost-effective THz communication system leveraging these components, he says. With the help of focused, industry-specific Horizon 2020, European Commission funding, this problem is now being addressed.

Project Implementation

The TERAPOD consortium is composed of world leaders in critical domains of the TERAPOD 4 pillars, coming together to deliver on the TERAPOD objectives. For pillar 1) UGLA and Dr. Edward Wasige’s team are world leaders at innovating Resonant Tunneling Diodes (RTDs) as electronic signal sources, detectors and local oscillators, UCL and Dr. Cyril Renaud and his team are world leaders at innovating uni-traveling-carrier photodiodes (UTC-PDs), ACST and Dr. Oleg Cojocari’s team are a specialized SME innovating on low-barrier Schottky Barrier Diodes (SBDs) as receivers; for Pillar 2) VLC and Dr Iñigo Artundo’s team are a specialized SME innovating photonic phase distribution systems on chip, INESC and Dr. Luis Pessoa’s team are innovating on integrated THz antennas, BAY and Dr. Glenn George’s team are a specialised SME innovating on robust packaging for photonic devices; for Pillar 3) NPL and Dr. Mira Naftaly’s team are world leaders in THz metrology and are innovating on techniques and instrumentation for characterisation of THz communication devices and systems, TUBS and Prof. Thomas Kürner’s team are leading standardisation activities in the IEEE 802.15 Interest Group on Terahertz Communication (IGTHz) and are world leaders in THz channel measurement and modelling in operational environments; for Pillar 4) TSSG and Dr. Alan Davy’s team are innovating on THz communication protocols at the physical and data link layer along with novel Software Defined Network (SDN) management strategies, DER and Ger Hallissey’s team innovate on resource management strategies for Data Centre networks.

Key Objectives
  1. Advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of THz communication devices and systems, out of the lab and towards industrial and SME uptake, within the context of beyond 5G usage scenario requirements.
  2. Demonstrate the feasibility of THz communication systems in beyond 5G scenarios through a fully integrated ‘first adopter’ Data Center demonstrator.
  3. Address the non-technical barriers to adoption of THz communication in the areas of Regulation and Standardisation.
  4. Promote scientific research and innovation of THz communications systems in Europe.
Project Achievements

By the end of the 3 year project, the partners aim to practically demonstration and validated a cost-effective THz Communication system within a Data Centre setting and to have developed an early specification of a THz-based High Bandwidth Access Network Architecture and protocols.

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