RF SAMPO project strengthens Finland's competitiveness in radio technologies

A consortium of major industrial and academic stakeholders led by Nokia and coordinated by the University of Oulu will start a massive project aiming to speed up the development of RF and antenna technologies and accelerate the transition from 5G to 6G. Through technological development, the project contributes to the creation of new jobs and new business opportunities.

RF Sampo is the lead ecosystem project for the theme Optimized Antenna Technology under Nokia Veturi program. Partners of this industrial co-creation project funded by Business Finland include at the moment nine companies and three research organizations: Nokia, Flex, Bittium, Optenni, Keysight Technologies, SAAB, Senfit, Okmetic, ExcellAnt, University of Oulu, Aalto University and VTT. Overall budget is 14 million euros.

Ensuring Growth

In the 5G value chain, RF technology addresses infrastructure and devices and facilitates 5G ecosystem cycle growth. Radio technologies provide the access to the frequency spectrum which is the most valuable resource for wireless business. That access needs to be as efficient as possible in terms of resource and energy use but also to be commercially competitive and to support the rapid pace of new product introduction.

The growth potential for RF technology companies arises from increasing need for wireless devices and also from innovations linked to new disruptive technologies. New frequency bands (mmWave and Tera-Hz frequencies), massive-MIMO and antenna array technologies and applying AI/ML have been identified as example of new disruptive technologies.  In addition, new business opportunities arise from the fact that radio networks are sold directly to enterprise customers for example in the industrial segment. Industrial 5G is one of the fastest-growing markets in wireless communications.

“Finland has a strong tradition in radio technologies which is in the core of wireless systems. RF Sampo targets strengthening Finland´s competitiveness in radio technologies while moving beyond industrial 5G and toward 6G. RF Sampo includes the development of radio subsystems, components, and algorithms. It also addresses the development of the ways of working that enable taking innovations into use faster, for example, by more efficient simulation and modelling methodologies. Solving challenges of more and more complex wireless systems calls for close R&D collaboration between companies and research organizations – to enlarge and renew the knowledge base and innovation capacity in Finland,” says the Industrial lead of the project, M.Sc. Saila Tammelin from Nokia.

Mastering Future Technologies Comprehensively

As modern radio solutions and networks are becoming more complex, RF SAMPO wants to address ways of managing this complexity in comprehensive way.

The RF Sampo project will enhance future radio platform design by introducing a modelling concept supporting the design of complex wireless solutions. The project will investigate new RF solutions for 5G and 6G including antenna structures, integrated circuits, RF related architectures and algorithms. The RF Sampo project develops new competences, which help the project partners to realize the business potential in various 5G application areas.

“This project focuses on the most relevant core technologies in the field and can take a deep dive into many relevant details for future communications and sensing as well as a high-level synthesis from technologies to products and future applications. Both system architecture modelling and underlying key technologies are absolutely needed to maintain the high quality and enable the wireless industry’s growth and research in the core industrial segment for Finland. I’m happy to see the vital ecosystem working together with key players from academia to industry”, says the Project coordinator, professor Aarno Pärssinen from the University of Oulu.