YOU ARE AT:5G'6G': DARPA enlists US engineering schools for smart road

‘6G’: DARPA enlists US engineering schools for smart road

DARPA, industry fund research into high-gigahertz and terahertz spectrum for “6G” smart road.

The industry is just getting started with 5G, but New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering — home of NYU Wireless and the Brooklyn 5G Summit — is joining in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s research on potential technologies for technology beyond 5G. The school now supports the DARPA-sponsored Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP), which is researching high-gigahertz and terahertz spectrum up to 500 GHz for automotive self-driving car infrastructure and intelligent highways.

Tandon joins one of ten universities working in the ComSenTer (Center for Converged TeraHertz Communications and Sensing) group of JUMP. ComSenTer researches developing cellular technology for autonomous road infrastructure.

To make autonomous car travel possible, the road infrastructure will have to handle data demands that can support centimeter-precision localization, unparalleled high-resolution imaging, and lightweight “whisper radio” technology, which researchers have previously demonstrated and which rely on very weak signals which are nonetheless difficult to jam. Specifically, ComSenTer is studying extremely high frequencies in the range of 100 GHz to 1 THz.

JUMP has six research centers, each devoted to a high-risk, high-reward research project that funders hope will have a commercial or defense pay off. Each center is hosted by a university.

University of California at Santa Barbara leads ComSenTer. The $27.5 million ComSenTer Center at UCSB is headed up by UCSB professor of electrical and computer engineering professor Mark Rodwell, who leads researchers from 10 universities.

Expected to cost $200 million over the five-year length of the program, the JUMP research efforts are into year two now.

DARPA is funding 40% of the JUMP research efforts, while a consortium of companies pays 60%. Core companies are Analog Devices, ARM, EMD Performance Materials (a Merck KGaA affiliate), IBM, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Micron Technology, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, TSMC, and Samsung.

The non-profit Semiconductor Research Corporation manages the JUMP program, with different universities each taking leads in the program.  Academic researchers in the program come from over 30 U.S. universities.

JUMP’s main vertical centers are:

  • Computing On Network Infrastructure for Pervasive Perception, Cognition, and Action (CONIX)
  • Center for Research on Intelligent Storage and Processing-in-memory (CRISP)
  • Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence (C-BRIC)
  • Center for Converged TeraHertz Communications and Sensing (ComSecTer)

JUMP’s horizontal sections are:

  • Applications Driving Architectures (ADA) Center
  • Applications and Systems driven Center for Energy-Efficient Integrated Nanotechnologies (ASCENT)

Learn more about JUMP centers at SRC’s website.

JUMP is part of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI).


Susan Rambo
Susan Rambo
Susan Rambo covers 5G for RCR Wireless News. Prior to RCR Wireless, she was executive editor on EE Times,,, Planet Analog and EBNOnline. She served also EE Times’ editor in chief and the managing editor for Embedded Systems Programing magazine, a popular how-to design magazine for embedded systems programmers. Her BA in fine art from UCLA is augmented with a copyediting certificate and design coursework from UC Berkeley and UCSC Extensions, respectively. After straddling the line between art and science for years, science may be winning. She is an amateur astronomer who lugs her telescope to outreach events at local schools. She loves to hear about the life cycle of stars and semiconductors alike. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow her on Twitter @susanm_rambo.

Editorial Reports

White Papers


Featured Content