With the gradual commercialization of 5G networks, researchers have begun to turn their attention to future 6G technologies. However, the current wireless communication industry is facing problems such as difficult coverage, high energy consumption, high maintenance costs, and uncontrollable wireless channels, which severely restrict communication efficiency and quality.
To address the above-mentioned challenges, Dr. Chongwen Huang, a young professor at Zhejiang University, was the first to introduce reconfigurable intelligent surface technology to the 6G wireless communication in the world. It not only has the potential to realize the concept of "smart radio environments" and the transformation from the traditional "adapting channel" to the new wireless communications paradigm shift of "changing and leveraging channels," but also is potentially able to break the fundamental limitation of energy efficiency in current wireless communications.
Reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is an artificial electromagnetic surface structure with programmable electromagnetic properties. By real-time tuning the attributes or structures of the artificial electromagnetic elements on the reconfigurable intelligent surface, the intelligent manipulation of the amplitude, phase, polarization, and frequency of the impinging electromagnetic wave in the space transmission can be realized. It can break through the limitations of existing hardware and software technologies such as massive MIMO and the uncontrollable inherent characteristics of wireless channels.
Through the intelligent mining and utilization of multi-dimensional resources such as wireless resources, environment, interference, users, and services taking full use of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces, it can significantly improve signal quality, transmission performance, and communication reliability, making up for blind spots of network coverage and reducing the energy consumption of communication networks, eliminating the network interference. With the advantages of programmability, low cost, low power consumption, and easy deployment, RIS has the huge application potential in both 5.5G and 6G networks.
RIS-empowered 6G wireless communication technology has attracted widespread attention from both international industry and academia and triggered dozens of international flagship communications conferences and seminars on reconfigurable intelligent surface-empowered wireless communications. It has been widely recognized as one of the key candidate technologies for 6G wireless communications by many major countries or international organizations including the United States, European Union, and China.
Dr. Huang won the 2021 IEEE Marconi Paper Award in Wireless Communications (one of the highest awards in the field of wireless communications), and 2021 IEEE ComSoc Asia-Pacific Outstanding Young Researcher Award in recognition of his achievements.
Dr. Huang's research directions also include the AI-enabled smart wireless communication technology and smart holographic wireless communications. In the future, he will continue to promote the industrialization of the RIS technology, hoping that one day RIS technology will adopt the standard of the next generation of wireless communications, making the smart, low-carbon wireless communications come true, and enable every one of us to surf the Internet.