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6G Communications: Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Materials and Hardware Markets: GHz, THz, Optical 2023-2043

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  • 295 Pages
  • June 2022
  • Region: Global
  • Zhar Research
  • ID: 5606517

Huge emerging market for 6G reprogrammable intelligent surfaces

6G wireless communication coming in around 2030 needs new materials and devices not least “reprogrammable intelligent surfaces RIS” everywhere. The new report, "6G Communications: Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Materials and Hardware Markets: GHz, THz, Optical 2023-2043" available from Research and Markets gives the latest situation and prospects ahead. It is based on close analysis of what is needed, what will possible, the research pipeline - much boosted in 2022 - and what the insiders now think. The report is a drill down on the RIS part of the overview report, ““6G Communications: Materials and Components Markets 2023-2043” also available from Research and Markets.

The 5G industry is backing the 6G idea so it can keep growing. Governments are convinced 6G is a matter of national importance and the value-added materials and components industry is sensing big opportunities. 

The report finds that, without RIS, there will be no 6G. It advises that, like 5G, 6G will start at the bottom of an envisaged band - here probably 0.15-0.3THz to get huge performance increase - then add around 1THz for stellar performance when analysed massive challenges are overcome. It advises you to add at least five years for that. 

In a balanced appraisal, the report cautions that enthusiasts saying these feeble beams will call for RIS on and in vast numbers of buildings, buses, trains and even through mining tunnels are implying unaffordable costs. It finds that 6G may be as much about optical as THz communication but that does open the opportunity for some optical RIS where fiber optics is impracticable so this is covered as well. 

Back at the THz RIS at say 0.15-1THz, it sees very large markets emerging for you. That is despite more affordable alternatives often sufficing such as pre-existing fiber optics. Envisaging two waves of adoption by frequency, the report finds that around $10 billion yearly market awaits for 6G RIS hardware. Within that, expect major demand for the identified value-added materials involved. It predicts that these may include graphene, 3-5 compounds, vanadium dioxide, sapphires and certain organics that are detailed. 

The Executive Summary has 35 information-packed pages, almost entirely consisting of new infograms, tables and graphs. There is a detailed roadmap 2023-2043 embracing standards, materials, optimal manufacturing technologies, components and systems improvement. See nine new forecasts including RIS area, panel numbers and value market, metamaterials and metasurface markets. 6G base stations may be enhanced by RIS so they are forecasted, in all cases with stated assumptions. A 23 page Introduction then covers how we got to the 6G dream with emphasis on RIS challenges, opinions, construction, locations and materials rationale.  

6G RIS will be too bulky, expensive and power consuming if it is not based on metamaterials so Chapter 3 takes 16 pages to cover these looking closely at latest best practice. Understand the laminar added-value metamaterials called metasurfaces. Learn about tuning elements become part of the structure, understand hypersurfaces, transparent and privacy metamaterials. 

Then we get to the meat of the subject with the 89 pages of Chapter 4 on “6G THz reconfigurable intelligent surfaces: design”. This looks closely at the options of reflectors (not really RIS) and semi-passive RIS which enhances and redirects a beam with almost no electricity. Add fully-powered active RIS that may focus and amplify beams, even operate unpowered client devices including billions of IoT nodes and charge your phone as you use it but cautions are sounded. 

This chapter also looks at the materials and components choices as they vary across the evolving frequencies to be adopted and the challenge of the “terahertz gap” with the best planned emitting, tuning and sensing solutions chosen from  semiconductors, thermal, voltage and optically phase changed materials, graphene plasmonics, MEMS and so on. There is a very thorough appraisal of the RIS hardware research pipeline identifying gaps in the market for material and component makers to address. See tabled comparisons of the host of options and a SWOT appraisal overall at the end.    

Chapter 5 is “6G THz reconfigurable intelligent surfaces in action” again concerning the band the author considers realistic - 0.15 to1THz. See infograms of 6G deployment planned by land, water and air and how RIS fit in. Locations as “super relays”, base station enhancement, more? It presents the costs from the metamaterial to the metasurface, the RIS system and, vitally the elephant in the room - its installation and maintenance including space rental. See how much of the envisaged deployment will be unaffordable or impracticable, with deep fiber and free space optical being better or just degraded performance with microwaves to get ubiquity across the world. However, the report, "6G Communications: Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Materials and Hardware Markets: GHz, THz, Optical 2023-2043"  finds that a huge RIS market is still in prospect provided identified parameter improvements are forthcoming.  6G RIS for Industry-6? Acoustic RIS under water? Smart radio environments? Ubiquity by using device-to-device? It is all appraised. 

With so much free space optical transmission now being recommended for 6G, from under water to subsuming LiFi should there be an optical RIS, even near infrared RIS? Chapter 6, “6G optical reconfigurable intelligent surfaces” reports on this new topic concluding it may have a place but it will not be a major part of the market so forecasts are not yet possible. In 16 pages you see the best research, the latest options, landscape pictures showing possible deployment locations, the negatives, positives and alternatives.

The final chapter 7 is “Companies and collaboration by region”. Here we do not waste your time with profiles of the giants involved from DuPont to Huawei and Samsung though we reveal the many 6G RIS-related. projects they serve. The companies we profile are small little-known ones with relevant, unique technologies. These are your possible partners and acquisitions as you enter this market. 

The details of collaborations across the world are also given where 6G RIS may be involved, including the 32 members of the ETSI RIS working party. Only this report, "6G Communications: Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Materials and Hardware Markets: GHz, THz, Optical 2023-2043" has the full picture, up to date, on this topic with the necessarily long-range forecasts.  

Questions answered by the report include:

  • Why are RIS essential to 6G?
  • What 6G THz frequencies, when, why?
  • RIS alternatives, the arguments against?
  • What major RIS milestones, when, where?
  • What metamaterials, metasurfaces needed?
  • Which RIS materials and manufacturing, why?
  • Will there be 6G acoustic and optical RIS, why?
  • 6G RIS panels, area, tiles, cost, market value 2023-2043?
  • Which countries, companies, researchers to watch for RIS?
  • How do RIS make the propagation environment added value?


Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary and 9 forecasts 2023-2043
1.1 Purpose of this report
1.2 Methodology of this analysis
1.3 The 6G RIS dream: NTTDoCoMo, Huawei, Samsung and others
1.4 RIS construction and potential capability 1.4.1 Metamaterial and metasurface
1.4.2 Different levels of beam management
1.4.3 Extra functionality
1.4.4 6G RIS and other metamaterial in action across the landscape
1.5 Compounds and graphene targeted
1.6 RIS compared to traditional approaches
1.7 RIS for 5G
1.8 RIS for 6G 1.8.1 Comparison of options
1.8.2 6G RIS cost and materials breakdown
1.8.3 Urgency and standards issues
1.8.4 Frequency choice recommended
1.8.5 The terahertz gap
1.8.6 Other capabilities issues and opportunities
1.8.7 8 tuning device families prioritised for RIS that are emerging
1.8.8 Formats of materials planned 6G RIS devices and systems
1.9 Optical RIS now a serious consideration as well
1.10 Manufacturing technologies matched to 6G RIS optical and THz
1.11 6G RIS SWOT appraisal that must guide future 6G RIS design
1.12 6G RIS roadmap and 9 forecasts 2023-2043 1.12.1 Assumptions
1.12.2 6G RIS roadmap 2023-2043
1.12.3 6G reconfigurable intelligent surfaces cumulative panels number deployed billion year end 2023-2043
1.12.4 6G reconfigurable intelligent surfaces market yearly area added bn. sq. m. 2023-2043
1.12.5 6G reconfigurable intelligent surfaces unit price $/ sq. m. 2023-2043
1.12.6 6G reconfigurable intelligent surfaces global $ billion 2023-2043
1.12.7 Market for 6G base stations millions yearly 2023-2043
1.12.8 Global metamaterial and metasurface market billion square meters 2023-2043
1.12.9 Location of primary 6G material and component activity worldwide 2023-2043
2. Introduction
2.1 How we reached the 6G dream
2.2 6G global architecture proposals and complementary systems
2.3 RIS construction and potential capability
2.4 Terminology thicket
2.5 Analysis, presentation and context
2.6 Broadening 6G and 6G RIS objectives
2.7 6G frequency choices will massively impact launch dates, deployment, viability
2.8 Transmission distance dilemma but belief that THz can be practicable outdoors in due course
2.9 Samsung’s frequency proposals for 6G launch
2.10 6G adds equipment and many transmission media
2.11 Green power dilemma with active RIS and other 6G infrastructure
2.12 Manufacturing technologies for 6G RIS whether optical, low or high THz
2.13 Potential 6G RIS-related applications of 20 emerging inorganic compounds
2.14 Potential 6G RIS-related applications of 20 elements in high-added value formats
2.15 Potential 6G RIS-related applications of 20 emerging inorganic compounds
3. Metamaterials for 6G
3.1 Overview
3.2 The meta atom and patterning options
3.3 Commercial, operational, theoretical, structural options compared
3.4 Metamaterial patterns and materials
3.5 Six formats of metamaterial with examples
3.6 Metasurface primer
3.7 Hypersurfaces
3.8 The long term picture of metamaterials overall
3.9 Metasurface energy harvesting likely for 6G
3.10 Applications of metamaterials GHz, THz, infrared and optical
4 6G THz reconfigurable intelligent surfaces: design
4.1 Challenges ahead
4.2 Design context
4.3 Trend to beam forming and steering but “beam” is a euphemism
4.4 RIS evolution intended in the future
4.5 How metasurface hardware operates
4.6 Semi-passive and active RIS components
4.6.2 PIN and Schottky diodes for semi-passive 6G RIS lowest THz frequencies
4.6.3 High-Electron Mobility Transistor HEMT for higher sub THz
4.6.4 CMOS and hybrid lll-V+CMOS approaches sub THz
4.6.5 RIS assisted wireless communication landscape
4.7 RIS compared to traditional approaches
4.8 Advances from 2022 onwards
4.9 RIS for 5G 4.9.1 Early work 2020-2021
4.9.2 5G RIS control issues
4.9.3 Enabling real-time configuration
4.10 RIS for 6G 4.10.1 Comparison of options
4.10.2 The terahertz gap
4.10.3 6G RIS control issues
4.11 Appraisal of 9 tuning device families for RIS from recent research pipeline
4.11.1 Electronic, magnetic
4.11.2 Photoactive, phase change, mechanical and other
4.11.3 Phase change, electric-sensitive and thermal candidates for 0.15 THz and above
4.11.4 Photoactive options
4.11.5 Graphene plasmonics and other 2D materials at THz frequencies
4.11.6 Magnetically tunable metasurfaces
4.12 ENZ and low loss materials for 6G
4.12 Active vs passive RIS, removing control channels and other work
4.14 6G RIS with integral sensing
4.15 6G RIS SWOT appraisal that must guide future 6G RIS design
5 6G THz reconfigurable intelligent surfaces in action
5.1 6G RIS and other metamaterial in action: the dream
5.2 6G underwater and underground - gap in the market
5.3 Alternative system approach - device to device
5.4 Deployment challenges 5.4.1 Five aspects cited by University of Oulu
5.4.2 Five other aspects
5.4.3 Overhead aware resource allocation
5.4.4 Realisation that hardware lags theory in 2022
4.4.5 Major 6G RIS standards initiative
5.4.6 Cost hierarchy challenge
5.5 6G RIS for Industry-6
5.6 RIS for fine mapping
5.7 RIS for 6G base stations
5.8 RIS- Integrated User-Centric Network: Architecture and Optimization
5.9 RIS for charging your phone and powering unpowered user devices WIET
5.10 Ubiquitous RIS and wireless communication metasurfaces
5.10.1 Large area locations: smart cities and beyond
5.10.2 Smaller area locations: smart transport, windows and wearables
5.10.3 Choosing physical locations and layouts
5.11 RIS smart radio environments
6. 6G optical reconfigurable intelligent surfaces
6.1 Overview
6.2 LiFi RIS
6.3 Possible hybrid light/THz 6G Communications
6.5 Optical devices enhancing or replacing RIS
7 Companies and collaboration by region
7.1 Global RIS and THz hardware initiatives
7.1.1 ETSI ISG RIS - 32 member organisations
7.1.2 International Consortium for Development of High-Power THz Science and Technology
7.1.3 ATIS global Next G Alliance
7.2 North America - companies and initiatives
7.2.1 Next G in USA and Canada
7.2.2 Terahertz hardware in Canada
7.2.3 DARPA THz Electronics project
7.2.4 THz devices developed and sold
7.2.5 University of Texas 6G Research Center with Samsung, Intel, Honda etc.
7.3 Appraisal of small North American companies with relevant RIS-related technology
7.3.1 Echodyne
7.3.2 Evolv Technology
7.3.3 Fractal Antenna Systems
7.3.4 iQLP
7.3.5 Kymeta Corp.
7.3.6 Meta
7.3.7 Metacept Systems
7.3.8 Metawave
7.3.9 Pivotal Commware
7.3.10 SensorMetrix
7.4 Europe
7.4.1 European Union
7.4.2 Finland
7.4.3 Germany
7.4.4 United Kingdom
7.5 East Asia
7.5.1 China
7.5.2 India
7.5.3 Japan
7.5.4 Korea
7.5.5 Pakistan
7.5.6 Singapore
7.5.7 Taiwan



Companies Mentioned

  • Akela Laser
  • AGC
  • Anritsu
  • Apple
  • AT&C
  • AT&T
  • B Com
  • BT
  • CEA
  • Centro Ricercha FIAT
  • China Telecommunications
  • Commscope
  • Corelab
  • Corning
  • CNRS
  • DCMS
  • DuPont
  • Echdyne
  • Elbana Photonics
  • Eurocom
  • Evolv Technology
  • Ericsson
  • Fractal Antenna Systems
  • Fraunhofer HHI
  • Greenerwave
  • Homesun
  • Honda
  • Huawei
  • ICS
  • IMEC
  • INO
  • Inmarsat
  • iQLP
  • Intel
  • Interdigital
  • Ionic Materials
  • Keysight Technologies
  • Kymeta
  • LG
  • Lumentum
  • Mediatek
  • Meta
  • Metacept
  • Metwave
  • Motorola Mobility
  • Nextnav
  • Nokia
  • NPL
  • NTT
  • NTTDoCoMo
  • Nur Energie
  • Nvidia
  • Orange
  • Oxford PV
  • Philips
  • Pivotal Commware
  • Protemics
  • Qualcomm
  • Rohde % Schwartz
  • Samsung
  • Sekisui
  • Seminex
  • SensorMetrix
  • SKTelecom
  • SNCF
  • SolAero
  • Sony
  • Spacety
  • Spectrolab
  • Starlink
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefonica
  • Tencent
  • Tesla
  • TII
  • Toyota
  • Tubitak Uekae
  • Western Digital
  • WB Photovoltaics
  • WL Gore
  • Vivotech
  • ZTE
  • ZTE Winston