PwC recently noted that the ultimate impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its related emerging technologies will not be fully realized until there is wide-scale deployment of 5G communication networks. Analysts across industry sectors insist that 5G will offer optimized industrial production, as well as improved decision-making, and end-user experience. PwC projects $13.2 trillion in global economic value from 5G by 2035, generating 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone.
Mouser Electronics has committed its distribution efforts to enabling 5G for its customers across a wide range of industries. We caught up with Raymond Yin, director of technical content at Mouser Electronics, to find out how Mouser is helping its customers adopt 5G communications.
Design News: What is Mouser’s role in enabling 5G?
Raymond Yin: As a global electronic component distributor, Mouser has multiple roles in enabling 5G technology worldwide. First and foremost, we represent many manufacturers of 5G electronic components from antennae and RF front ends to the processors and storage that make up the 5G network core and can deliver these components the next day to design engineers who are prototyping the latest 5G equipment. These include brands such as Amphenol ICC, Amphenol SV, Analog Devices, Intel, Microchip Technology, TE Connectivity, and Qorvo.
In addition, we support our suppliers with marketing programs that deliver their technical content and information on the newest 5G products to a targeted segment of our customers. Finally, we create our own original thought leadership content such as our Empowering Innovation Together 5G series to educate and inform our customers on the latest in 5G technology along with applications and design techniques.
Yin noted that Mouser is working with leading industry experts such as Dr. Matthieu Bloch of Georgia Tech to bring insightful and unique content to design engineers in multiple languages.
DN: 5G has come in stages. Explain the Release 16 and 5G phase 2. How does this affect industrial applications?
Raymond Yin: Release 16 builds upon the foundation of Release 15 and provides new services and new potential applications for 5G. There are several enhancements provided in Release 16 that will directly affect the industrial sector.
- Non-public networks: Release 16 provides support for private 5G networks that are independently owned, managed, and secured. These non-public networks will allow sensitive data collected from Industrial IoT deployments to remain on-site while improving latency for applications within the facility.
- Time-Sensitive Networking: Many industrial applications, particularly automation, require fast, deterministic communication for in-machine control and machine-to-machine control. The IEEE has created a set of IEEE 802 standards that adds definitions to make Ethernet deterministic. Release 16 adds support for integration of TSN protocols to ensure time –deterministic delivery of information including mapping of TSN configuration into the 5G QoS framework and providing transport of Ethernet frames via header compression.
- Improved Link Reliability: Release 16 is enhancing uRLLC functionality to deliver link reliability to 99.9999% through the use of Coordinated MultiPoint technology which introduces redundant communication paths with spatial diversity.
DN: How is 5G impacting industrial users? Does it live up to its promise?
Raymond Yin: 5G has the potential of making a huge impact on the industrial sector. In addition to the enhancements previously detailed, URLLC is closely tied to the future of industrial robotics and will enable a new generation of autonomous mobile robots that will work side by side in partnership with people. Other aspects of 5G will finally make VR/AR/XR a reality (pun intended) on the factory floor to help guide workers through complex tasks or warn them of possible safety issues. These immersive technologies will be far more interactive than current user interfaces and will include audio, haptic, and visual components. 5G will also have a profound effect on the IIoT. Sensors are enabling cost-saving applications such as predictive maintenance and digital twinning, but require a huge amount of connected nodes. 5G will boost the potential number of IoT nodes from 60,680 per sq km for 4G to 1,000,000 per sq km.
We don’t think there has been sufficient time to determine if 5G is living up to its promise. Not all 5G services are deployed and not many industrial plants are capable of taking advantage of those that are. It will be many more years before the full impact of 5G on the industrial sector can be truly measured.
DN: Is 6G coming soon? If so, how can users prepare for it?
Raymond Yin: Historically, there have been roughly 10 years between deployments of increasing generations of cellular technology. For example, 4G was ratified in 2008 with deployments occurring in 2010. Release 15 was announced in 2019 with initial basic deployments happening in 2020. Furthermore, each cellular generation has lasted multiple decades. Based on that timeline, 6G will most likely be ratified sometime in 2030 with deployments shortly thereafter. Dr. Matthieu Bloch discusses what he knows about 6G in our podcast, the Tech Between Us.
DN: How will 5G affect Automotive?
Raymond Yin: Not only will 5G have an enormous impact on the industrial sector, but it is also poised to create massive change in the transportation industry as well. This can be summed up in three letters: V2x. Vehicle to anything and everything communication. There’s Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P), and Vehicle to Network (V2N) … the list goes on.
Release 14 introduced direct communication modes that established how vehicles will communicate with their surroundings. Release 16 sideline mode now supports advanced use cases that enhance autonomous vehicle operation creating a comprehensive C-V2X (cellular V2X) infrastructure. With 5G, the transportation industry is poised to deliver significant breakthroughs in traffic management, user and pedestrian safety, in addition to enabling level 4 and 5 autonomous driving through the efficient monitoring of vehicles and surrounding infrastructure and low latency reaction time.
Rob Spiegel has covered manufacturing for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include automation, supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cybersecurity. For 10 years, he was the owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.