French startup Greenerwave is working on smart reflector technology capable of directing electromagnetic waves

Promising applications for millimeter 5G.

Founded in 2016 by the Greenerwave startup, separated from the Langevin Institute (CNRS and ESPCI Paris), it is developing a smart reflector technology that allows it to control electromagnetic waves. The company qualifies its technology “Agnostic, green and inexpensive” ; claims that she “Capable of revolutionizing the world of millimeter 5G by enabling dynamic redirection of radio waves to track mobile devices and thus improving communication even in the busiest environments” and it’s on “In the long run, Greenerwave will avoid the mass deployment of particularly energy-intensive and expensive base stations”.

Figure 1: French startup Greenerwave is working on smart reflector technology capable of directing electromagnetic waves

In fact, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO and AGC a few months ago successfully used this process on a 5G base station in the 28 GHz band.

Thanks to the laser beam, the Taara project allowed the transmission of 700 TB of data over a distance of 5 km.

Millimeter 5G and 6G: very high speeds, but limited distribution

The press release reminds about it “Demands for data rates are growing, 5G will soon rely on millimeter waves capable of offering much higher bandwidth. However, these waves (28 GHz), as well as those that should reach even higher frequencies in the context of 6G, propagate in a straight line and stop completely in case of interference. Then it is difficult for them to get to devices that are not in line of sight of transmitting stations. Thus, it creates real connection problems for users who are indoors and in cities. »

There are two methods to overcome this problem according to Greenerwave. “The first solution, expensive and very energy-intensive, would be to increase the fleet of transmitting antennas and amplifiers. The second is to reflect and redirect signals, but conventional reflectors can only do this in fixed directions..

Secondly, it allows smart mirror technology “Develop passive repeaters capable of directing waves to a specific device, such as a specific phone, adapting it to its position in real time, all with relatively simple electronics.” ; infrastructure costs will be divided into ten according to the firm.

How does it work?

Here are the explanations provided by the startup:

Greenerwave designs meta-surfaces that consist of elements that “sculpt” electromagnetic waves. These metasurfaces consist of a group of centimeter-sized elements called pixels that act as a set of micromirrors. Each pixel allows you to change the sign of the reflected wave. The interaction between pixels and microwaves is controlled by algorithms from the world of physics, which direct the waves after reflection on the surface. Passive and inexpensive, this technology aims to improve the use of electromagnetic waves to reduce energy consumption and infrastructure costs. […]

On the same technological brick of reconfigured real-time metasurfaces associated with physics-derived wave control algorithms, Greenerwave seeks to deploy its technology in satellite communications to provide universal, very high-speed connectivity anywhere in the world. due to the deployment of low-orbit devices. The constellation of Leo. In fact, the reception of the satellite signal is due to very accurate guidance. This is exactly what Greenerwave allows with the development of flat antennas that can be reconfigured in real time, which can be directed in any direction, with unsurpassed simplicity and energy sobriety.

Greenerwave is also using this technology in the field of radar to create a new generation of radar radar for increasingly autonomous vehicles, as well as in RFID, where it allows never before to achieve reliable detection. »

The first in the world and many partners

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, NTT DOCOMO used for the first time a 5G base station in the 28 GHz band and a meta-surface reflector using Greenerwave technology from October 8 to 22. For Greenerwave, “This world has confirmed for the first time that a smart reflector improves the strength of the signals received by a mobile receiver. Radio waves sent from a remote base station entered the test room through a window, and then the reflector was used to dynamically control the direction of reflection of radio waves. The power of the received 28 GHz signal was improved by 20 dB compared to signals received without the use of an intelligent surface. »

Finally, the company says it is “Since 2019, it has been collaborating with big names in the field of telecommunications research, in particular through several European projects on the future of telecommunications. For example, he is a member of RISE-6G along with industry giants such as NEC, Orange, Telecom Italia, CEA and more. Greenerwave is present there as the inventor / designer of the core technology: the Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface. »

If you want to learn more about this technology, you can find a detailed article on the CNRS website.

Source: Greenerwave press release