A fresh concept of Hardware supporting the transition to 6G and Future Networks – Pivoting on Micro/Nanotechnologies

Looking to 2030, the future data- and communication-centric paradigms of 6G, Super-IoT (Internet of Things) and Tactile Internet (TI), will require leaps forth at technology and, also notably, at conceptual level. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a cornerstone both on the service and network operation plane, leveraging self-sustenance and self-evolution of the infrastructure. Within such a context, the currently-in-use design methods for Hardware-Software (HW-SW) systems are regarded as increasingly less suitable to fully meet the challenge.

This tutorial will focus on low-complexity HW components, like sensors, actuators, and transducers, gathering attention around Micro/Nano (MEMS/NEMS) technologies. Reinforcement of the HW vs. SW separation and symmetry is proposed, overcoming the so-called HW-SW divide. Partial reformulation of the concept itself of HW is proposed, leveraging the parallelism of HW/SW with classical elements in nature.

The resulting frame of reference is named WEAF Mnecosystem (Water, Earth, Air and Fire Micro/Nano technologies Ecosystem). It embodies solutions based on Micro/Nano technologies, regarded as pivotal in the transition to 6G/TI. Then, the WEAF Mnecosystem landscape is populated by reporting state of the art research activities based on Micro/Nano technologies, identified as key enablers of the future paradigms at stake.

JACOPO IANNACCI (Senior Member, IEEE) was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1977. He received the MSc (Laurea) degree in electronics engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2003, and the PhD in information and telecommunications technology from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2007. He received the Habilitation as Full Professor in Electronics from the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR), in 2021.

He worked in 2005 and 2006 as visiting researcher at the DIMES Technology Center (currently Else Kooi Lab) of the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands, focusing on the development of innovative packaging and integration technology solutions for RF-MEMS devices. In 2016, he visited as seconded researcher the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin, Germany, to conduct high-frequency characterization of RF-MEMS components jointly with the RF & Smart Sensor Systems Department at IZM. Since 2007, he is researcher (permanent staff) at the Center for Sensors & Devices of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, in Trento, Italy.

His research interests and experience fall in the areas of Finite Element Method (FEM) multi-physics modelling, compact (analytical) modeling, design, optimization, integration, packaging, experimental characterization and testing for reliability of MEMS and RF-MEMS devices and networks for sensors and actuators, Energy Harvesting (EH-MEMS) and telecommunication systems, with applications in the fields of 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), as well as 6G, Tactile Internet (TI) and Super-IoT. Dr. Iannacci authored more than 140 scientific contributions, including international journal papers, conference proceedings, books, book chapters and one patent. He is Associate Editor (AE) of the Springer Microsystem Technologies and Series Editor (SE) of the IEEE Communications Magazine (ComMag).

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