Symbiotic Sensing and Communications Towards 6G: Vision, Applications, and Technology Trends

06/29/2021 ∙ by Zhiqin Wang, et al. ∙ 0

Driven by the vision of intelligent connection of everything and digital twin towards 6G, a myriad of new applications, such as immersive extended reality, autonomous driving, holographic communications, intelligent industrial internet, will emerge in the near future, holding the promise to revolutionize the way we live and work. These trends inspire a novel technical design principle that seamlessly integrates two originally decoupled functionalities, i.e., wireless communication and sensing, into one system in a symbiotic way, which is dubbed symbiotic sensing and communications (SSaC), to endow the wireless network with the capability to "see" and "talk" to the physical world simultaneously. Noting that the term SSaC is used instead of ISAC (integrated sensing and communications) because the word “symbiotic/symbiosis" is more inclusive and can better accommodate different integration levels and evolution stages of sensing and communications. Aligned with this understanding, this article makes the first attempts to clarify the concept of SSaC, illustrate its vision, envision the three-stage evolution roadmap, namely neutralism, commensalism, and mutualism of SaC. Then, three categories of applications of SSaC are introduced, followed by detailed description of typical use cases in each category. Finally, we summarize the major performance metrics and key enabling technologies for SSaC.

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