International Workshop on Future Communications 2021

23 Jun 2021 - 24 Jun 2021 9.30AM to 5PM (Wed) / 9AM to 1.15PM (Thu) Virtual

The Future of Communications: 

What are the technological changes that have led us thus far? 
What efforts must we consider to move forward?

The full workshop recording is now available! 
 Watch the full day event on our Youtube channel now.

Information and Communications Technology has significantly progressed in recent years by relying heavily on wireless communications. With the introduction of concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Internet of Things, billions of devices will be connected in a global network through wireless interfaces, using standard protocol solutions.

In this workshop, we will explore the technological changes that provided us a huge leap forward in speed, capacity and connectivity, the challenges we face moving forward, as well as discuss efforts underway to consider beyond state-of-art protocols and mechanisms for wireless, data and network communication.

Programme Schedule

Selected Topics for 6G Enabling Technologies

6G will encompass the major part of the future communications technologies in the next 10 years, some of these technologies are disruptive and will generate transformative impact to our society and way of life.

In this talk, we provide a perspective of the following emerging wireless technologies, such as: 

  1. machine learning built upon 6G wireless, rather than the machine learning as an optimization tool;
  2. joint sensing and communications built upon the mmWave and Terahertz
  3. the candidate technologies to evolve MIMO;
  4. extreme side-link technology;
  5. VLEO satellite constellations;
  6. true OTP physical security;
  7. QKD and switching technology;
  8. multi-lateral trustworthiness;
  9. network coded computing;
  10. Green/EMF and sustainability.

We discuss the open problems, and the R&D roadmap associated with these enabling technologies.

Dr Wen Tong

IEEE Fellow,
Huawei Fellow,
Chief Technology Officer, Wireless Network, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd

Wen Tong is the CTO of Huawei Wireless. He is the head of Huawei wireless research. In 2011, he was appointed the Head of Communications Technologies Labs of Huawei. Currently, he is the Huawei 5G chief scientist and led Huawei’s 10-year-long 5G wireless technologies research and development.

Prior to joining Huawei in 2009, he was the Nortel Fellow and head of the Network Technology Labs at Nortel. He joined the Wireless Technology Labs at Bell Northern Research in 1995 in Canada.

Wen Tong is the industry recognised leader in invention of advanced wireless technologies. He was elected as a Huawei Fellow and an IEEE Fellow. He was the recipient of IEEE Communications Society Industry Innovation Award in 2014, and IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Industry Leader Award for “pioneering technical contributions and leadership in the mobile communications industry and innovation in 5G mobile communications technology” in 2018. He is also the recipient of R.A. Fessenden Medal. For the past three decades, he had pioneered fundamental technologies from 1G to 5G wireless and Wi-Fi with more than 500 awarded US patents.

He is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, and he serves as Board of Director of Wi-Fi Alliance.

Journey Towards 6G in 2030

With 5G cellular technologies now beginning to be deployed around the world, the research community has embarked on the pathway to define the sixth generation (6G) wireless system to be deployed in the year 2030. The market demands of 2030 and beyond will likely introduce new applications, with more stringent requirements (in terms of ultra-high reliability, capacity, energy efficiency, and low latency).

In this talk, we will share about 5G evolution, our views about 6G, and the Future Communications Programme at SUTD.

Professor Tony Quek

IEEE Fellow,
Director, Future Communications R&D Programme,
Head of Information Systems Technology and Design (ISTD) Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Tony Q.S. Quek received the BE and ME degrees in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, respectively. At MIT, he earned the PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Currently, he is the Cheng Tsang Man Chair Professor with SUTD. He also serves as the Director of Future Communications Programme and the Head of ISTD Pillar. He received the 2008 Philip Yeo Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Research, the 2012 IEEE William R. Bennett Prize, the 2020 IEEE Stephen O. Rice Prize, the 2020 Nokia Visiting Professor, and the 2016-2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher. He is a Fellow of IEEE.

Blockchain-Empowered Networks for IoT

Recent advances in blockchain technology have led to a significant interest for managing database in a decentralized way without security concerns that stem from centralized platforms. Hence, blockchain is predicted to be a key enabler for various applications such as an autonomous platform, resource sharing, ubiquitous edge computing, and content-based-storage in IoT and 6G. However, despite of all the benefits of blockchain, there is an inevitable cost to pay, the additional processing latency, which can be crucial for real-time decision making IoT applications.

In this talk, with focusing on this latency, I will explore how we can leverage blockchain for IoT. Specifically, I will provide the overall structure of the blockchain networks, especially for the Hyperledger Fabric, which is one of the most popular private blockchain platforms. I will then discuss whether the blockchain is suitable for latency-sensitive applications by analyzing the data freshness in the blockchain-enabled monitoring networks. I will finally discuss the future challenges of blockchain-enabled networks for IoT.

Associate Professor Jemin Lee

Department of Information and Communication Engineering (ICE), Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)

Jemin Lee is an Associate Professor at the Department of Information and Communication Engineering, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Daegu, Korea. She received the PhD degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 2010. Her current research interests include intelligent communication techniques, blockchain-enabled networks, and wireless security. She serves as a Chair for IEEE ComSoc Radio Communications Technical Committee. She received 2020 Haedong Young Engineering Researcher Award, 2020 IEEE Communications Society Young Author Best Paper Award, 2017 IEEE ComSoc AP Outstanding Paper Award, and 2014 IEEE ComSoc AP Outstanding Young Researcher Award.

Chip to Chip Communications across a Galvanically Isolated Barrier

Sending a signal across a galvanically isolated barrier is a common requirement in many aspects of modern electronic machinery. Traditionally such components utilize optical methods such as a LED and a photodetector to send NRZ signals across a galvanic isolation barrier that can withstand hundreds to thousands of volts. These components, generally known as optocouplers, are an essential component isolating the high voltage power devices such as IGBTs from the low voltage controllers which is needed to provide logic and control functions to realize a complete power system.

While Moore’s law dictates that the intelligent controller’s voltages will scale towards lower voltages, the drive towards efficiency and size reduction of magnetics and copper windings requires ever higher operating voltages of the power stages. These two trends are divergent and the requirements of better and more robust communications across the isolation barrier is needed. Besides optical, other methods such as magnetic or capacitive means have been deployed successfully to manage both high voltages and noise isolation and yet provide robust data communications from chip to chip enabling high efficiency and small form factor power solutions suitable for robotics and e-Car applications.

The application of wireless communication in isolation device is still based on relatively simple mechanisms and signalling schemes and opportunities exists to explore and develop better chip to chip wireless communications for future products and applications.

Mr Richard Lum

Co-founder and Microchip Architect, MPics Innovations

Richard Lum is the Co-founder and Microchip Architect of MPics Innovations which specialises in custom analog circuit design and manufacturing. He has more than 20 patents in the field of analog circuits and isolation technology. His current interests involve the design and development of new and novel methods of signal communications across galvanically isolated barriers in multi-chip modules and has filed a patent for a new isolation method suitable for broadband power devices such as GaN and SiC. Prior to MPics, he was the Senior Director of R&D for Broadcom’s Isolation Products Division. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

Holographic MIMO Communications

Massive MIMO refers to a wireless network technology where the base stations are equipped with a very large number of antennas to serve a multitude of terminals by spatial multiplexing. Thanks to the intense research performed over the last decade, Massive MIMO is today a mature technology. Its advantages in terms of spectral efficiency, energy efficiency, and power control are well understood and recognized.

The channel capacity was shown to increase theoretically unboundedly in the regime where the number of antennas grows unboundedly. In practice, however, the number of antennas that fits into the common form factor of a base station site is fundamentally limited.

Hence, a natural question is: how can we practically approach the ‘infinite antenna’ limit? One solution is to integrate a massive (possibly infinite) number of antennas into a compact space, that is, a Holographic MIMO array. Realistic performance assessment of Holographic MIMO communications requires the use of a channel model that reflects the main characteristics of a massive number of antennas in a compact space.

This talk considers arbitrary spatially-stationary scattering and provides a representation that captures the essence of electromagnetic propagation and allows to evaluate the capacity of Holographic MIMO systems. The developed framework generalizes the virtual channel representation, which was originally developed for uniform linear arrays.

Associate Professor Luca Sanguinetti

Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa

Luca Sanguinetti (SM’15) is an Associate Professor at the University of Pisa, Italy. He served as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Signal Processing Letters. Sanguinetti is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications and is a member of the Executive Editorial Committee of IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications.

His expertise and general interests span the areas of communications and signal processing. Sanguinetti has co-authored the textbooks 'Massive MIMO Networks: Spectral, Energy, and Hardware Efficiency’ (2017) and ‘Foundations of User-Centric Cell-Free Massive MIMO’ (2020). He received the 2018 Marconi Prize Paper Award in Wireless Communications.

Localization in 5G and Beyond: Enablers, Methodologies, and Challenges

As communication systems move to higher frequencies and start harnessing technologies such as meta-surfaces, the relation between positioning, sensing, and communication become tighter than ever.

In this talk, we will cover some of the main technological enablers for 5G and Beyond 5G localization, and propose an algorithmic framework for localization and mapping. We highlight a variety of challenges in designing future radio localization systems.

Professor Henk Wymeersch

Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology

Henk Wymeersch is a Professor in Communication Systems with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He is also a Distinguished Research Associate with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven). Prior to joining Chalmers, he was a Postdoctoral Associate during 2006-2009 with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering/Applied Sciences in 2005 from Ghent University, Belgium. He has served as Associate Editor for several IEEE journals and also as General Chair of the 2015 International Conference on Localization and GNSS. Awards include an ERC Starting Grant and a Chalmers supervision award. He leads the CROSSNET team at Chalmers. For more information, see

Towards 6G Wireless Communication Networks: Vision, Enabling Technologies, and New Paradigm Shifts

Fifth generation (5G) wireless communication networks are being deployed worldwide and more capabilities are in the process of being standardized, such as massive connectivity, ultra-reliability, and low latency. However, 5G will not meet all requirements of the future, and sixth generation (6G) wireless networks are expected to provide global coverage, enhanced spectral/energy/cost efficiency, greater intelligence and security, etc. To meet these requirements, 6G networks will rely on new enabling technologies, i.e., air interface and transmission technologies and novel network architectures, such as waveform design, multiple access, channel coding schemes, multi-antenna technologies, network slicing, cell-free architecture, and cloud/fog/edge computing.

One vision on 6G is that it will have four new paradigm shifts. First, to satisfy the requirement of global coverage, 6G will not be limited to terrestrial communication networks, which will need to be complemented with non-terrestrial networks such as satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) communication networks, thus achieving a space-air-ground-sea integrated communication networks. Multiple spectra will be exploited to further increase data rates and connection density, including the sub-6 GHz, millimeter wave (mmWave), terahertz (THz), and optical frequency bands. Third, facing the very large datasets generated by heterogeneous networks, diverse communication scenarios, large numbers of antennas, wide bandwidths, and new service requirements, 6G networks will enable a new range of smart applications with the aid of AI-related technologies. And, fourth, network security will have to be strengthened when developing 6G networks.

This talk will review recent advances and future trends in these four aspects.

Professor Vincent Poor

IEEE Fellow,
Michael Henry Strater University Professor, Princeton University

H. Vincent Poor is the Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University, where his interests include information theory, machine learning and network science, and their applications in wireless networks, energy systems and related fields. Among his publications in these areas is the forthcoming book Machine Learning and Wireless Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. Recent recognition of his work includes the 2017 IEEE Alexander Graham Medal, and honorary doctorates from several universities in Asia, Europe and North America.

Generalized Multiple Tanks and Applications for Silicon Based RF/mm-wave IC

Radio frequency integrated circuits (RFIC) and mm-wave IC plays crucial role in the modern wireless communication systems in laptop, smart phones, tablet etc. Silicon based technologies with their low cost and high integrity prompt the widely adoption of the RF/mm-wave IC by consumer electronics. However, commercial silicon always faces issues of high substrate loss and metal loss especially for RF/mm-wave IC design caused by low resistivity silicon of ~10Ω/sq. We proposed new methodology of multiple-tank topology to cope with this loss issue. It is found that by using this approach, the performance of dedicated RF/mm-wave IC can be dramatically enhanced. It is also verified experimentally by silicon based IC such as VCO, frequency divider, Switch and other circuits with frequency up to 300GHz. Moreover, it is also used and verified in 60GHz Transceiver SOC.

This talk is solicited to present the proposed method and implementation from the fundamental concept and analysis to the new integrated circuits and system verification.

Professor Kaixue Ma

Dean, School of Microelectronics, Tianjin University

Kaixue Ma received BE and ME degrees from Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China, and PhD degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is Dean and Chair Professor of the School of Microelectronics of Tianjin University and the Director of Tianjin Key Laboratory of Imaging and Sensing Microelectronics Technology.

He published two books and 280 SCI/EI indexed papers in of RF to THz IC Design. He is awardee of the Chinese National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars. He is Fellow of China Institute of Electronics (CIE), Past Associate Editor, IEEE TMTT and IEEE MTT-S R10 Coordinator.

Rethinking Communication Theory for Wireless Networked Systems

Wireless networks are evolving to cater to emerging cyber-physical and mission-critical interactive systems, such as swarm robotics, self-driving cars, and smart Internet of Things. These systems call for reliable real-time communication, autonomous interactions, and automated decision-making. Do we have the right methods and design tools to support those requirements? Are they any critical knowledge gaps for addressing major theoretical roadblocks?

This talk describes some of the shifts in thinking that may be needed to develop a Post-Shannon theory. We will highlight the potential and the challenges of goal-oriented communication, which aims at redefining timing, importance and effectiveness in future networked intelligent systems.

Professor Marios Kountouris

Communication Systems Department, EURECOM

Marios Kountouris is a Professor and Chair PI on Advanced Wireless Systems at the Communication Systems department, EURECOM, France. Prior to joining EURECOM, he has held positions at Huawei Paris Research Center, France, CentraleSupélec, France, The University of Texas at Austin, USA, and Yonsei University, S. Korea.

He obtained the diploma degree in electrical and computer engineering from NTUA, Greece in 2002 and the MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Télécom Paris, France in 2004 and 2008, respectively. He has received several career and best paper awards, including an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2020, the IEEE ComSoc CTTC Early Achievement Award and Outstanding EMEA Young Researcher Award in 2016 and 2013, respectively.

Random Access for Machine-to-Machine Communications: Connection-based or Connection-free?

With the new wave of digital revolution, wireless communication networks are experiencing a radical paradigm shift from the conventional human-to-human communications to machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. To facilitate the massive access of machine-type devices, random access is expected to play a crucial role in the next-generation M2M communications. Thanks to its distributed nature, random access has found wide applications to various wireless networks including 5G cellular networks and WiFi networks.

In general, random access protocols can be divided into two categories: connection-based or connection-free. The connection-based random access procedure of cellular networks has been long criticized for its low access efficiency for supporting M2M communications, which is mainly attributed to the large overhead of connection establishment. Yet connection-free random access schemes usually suffer from high transmission failure rates, especially in massive access scenarios.

The optimal access design for M2M communications requires a fundamental understanding of the performance limits of connection-based and connection-free random access, which will be the focus of this talk. Specifically, I will introduce our recently proposed unified analytical framework for random access, and show how to characterize the maximum effective throughput of connection-based and connection-free random access to develop criteria for beneficial connection establishment. I will conclude the talk by highlighting the practical implications of the analysis to the access design of M2M communications.

Professor Lin Dai

Department of Electrical Engineering of City, University of Hong Kong

Lin Dai received the PhD degree from Tsinghua University, China. She is now a full professor of Department of Electrical Engineering of City at the University of Hong Kong. She has broad interests in communications and networking theory, with special interests in wireless communications. Her recent research work focuses on modeling, performance analysis and optimal access design of next-generation mobile communication systems. She was a co-recipient of the Best Paper Award at the IEEE WCNC 2007 and the IEEE Marconi Prize Paper Award in 2009. She received The President's Award of City University of Hong Kong in 2017.

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