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CEA-Leti Announces EU Project to Create Dynamically Programmable Wireless 6G Environments

RISE-6G Collaboration Will Develop Technology for Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces and Ensure Energy Efficiency, Localization Accuracy and Privacy

GRENOBLE, France – Feb. 9, 2021 – CEA-Leti today announced a visionary EU 6G research project for next-generation wireless connectivity. Called RISE-6G, it will design, prototype and test smart and energy-sustainable technological advances based on reconfigurable intelligent surfaces (RIS) that will enable programmable control and shaping of the wireless propagation environment.

These surfaces may be diode-based antennas or metamaterials for coating objects in the environment, such as walls, ceilings, mirrors and appliances, and they will operate as reconfigurable reflectors or transceivers for massive access when equipped with active radio-frequency (RF) elements.

“Our mission is to enable this disruptive new concept as a service for the wireless environment by dynamically controlling wireless communication for local, brief and energy-efficient, high-capacity communications,” said Emilio Calvanese Strinati, RISE-6G project coordinator and 6G future wireless research director at CEA-Leti. “The system also will ensure energy efficiency, localization accuracy and privacy guarantees against eavesdroppers, while accommodating specific regulations on spectrum use and restrained electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions.”

Integrating Hardware Building Blocks in Future B5G/6G Networks

As part of its goal to demonstrate a scalable, smart, wireless connectivity paradigm enabled by RIS, the pan-European project will address the design of key hardware building blocks and their integration in future B5G/6G networks.

To achieve its goals, the RISE-6G objectives are to:

  • define novel network architectures and operation strategies incorporating multiple reconfigurable intelligent surfaces,
  • characterize the new system’s fundamental limits capitalizing on the proposed realistic and validated radio-wave propagation models,
  • design solutions to enable online trade between high-capacity connectivity, energy efficiency, EMF exposure and localization accuracy based on dynamically programmable wireless propagation environments, while accommodating specific legislation and regulation requirements on spectrum use, data protection, and electromagnetic field (EMF) emission, and,
  • prototype-benchmark proposed innovation via two complementary trials with verticals (Fiat Industry 4.0 production site and SNCF train station).

Expected to be deployed by the end of this decade, B5G/6G networks will create the basis for human-centered smart societies and vertical industries. To accomplish this, advances will be expected to support the long-term, sustainable transformation of networks into a distributed smart-connectivity infrastructure, where new terminal types, e.g. mirrors, signs and walls, are embedded in the environment. In addition to responding to regulations and specific user-, service- and location-based needs, targeted innovations include an end-to-end, connectivity-computation system with high flexibility and dynamism that accommodates continuously evolving and heterogeneous applications.

‘Remarkable Societal Impact in the Near Future’

By dynamically controlling RIS-enabled communication environments, mobile network users will gather in optimized “ultra-capacity/gigabit areas” with controlled energy consumption and circumscribed EMF to avoid interference from unconnected devices and to minimize their impact on the people around them.

“RISE-6G will lend itself to a revolutionary flow of the current network paradigm by contributing with novel technologies and strategic business plans that will have a remarkable societal impact in the near future,” Calvanese Strinati said.

The project is poised to actively participate in standardization bodies and bring its technically advanced vision into the planned industrial implementation. This will secure European technology leadership, supporting the creation of new European-conceived service and business opportunities in the B5G/6G global race.

Project Team

Officially launched on Jan. 1, 2021, with a planned duration of three years, the RISE-6G project will be piloted by CEA-Leti. The consortium includes 13 partners from seven countries representing the academic, research and industrial sectors:

Industry: NEC Laboratories Europe GMBH (technical coordinator, network vendor), Orange and Telecom Italia (telecom operators); Greenerwave (technology provider)

Academia: Chalmeers University, Aalborg University, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University of Notthingam

Research: CEA-Leti, Consorzion Nazionale Interuniversitario Italiano, Centre National de la Recherche Sceintifique

Other: the French national rail society (SNCF) and Centro Ricerche Fiat (vertical industries and end users)

The latest updates on RISE-6G project are available at

About CEA-Leti (France)

Leti, a technology research institute at CEA, is a global leader in miniaturization technologies enabling smart, energy-efficient and secure solutions for industry. Founded in 1967, CEA-Leti pioneers micro-& nanotechnologies, tailoring differentiating applicative solutions for global companies, SMEs and startups. CEA-Leti tackles critical challenges in healthcare, energy and digital migration. From sensors to data processing and computing solutions, CEA-Leti’s multidisciplinary teams deliver solid expertise, leveraging world-class pre-industrialization facilities. With a staff of more than 1,900, a portfolio of 3,100 patents, 10,000 sq. meters of cleanroom space and a clear IP policy, the institute is based in Grenoble, France, and has offices in Silicon Valley and Tokyo. CEA-Leti has launched 65 startups and is a member of the Carnot Institutes network. Follow us on and @CEA_Leti.

Technological expertise

CEA has a key role in transferring scientific knowledge and innovation from research to industry. This high-level technological research is carried out in particular in electronic and integrated systems, from microscale to nanoscale. It has a wide range of industrial applications in the fields of transport, health, safety and telecommunications, contributing to the creation of high-quality and competitive products.

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