The Department of Defense (DoD) is working with two academic entities to improve energy efficiency in 5G network operations, Federal News Network reported Friday. The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Lille in France have partnered with the U.S. Army Research Office to develop a honeycomb-like framework to allow 5G devices to switch networks with less energy.
Pani Varanasi, division chief of the materials science program at ARO, told the publication that the team’s nanomaterial hexagonal boron nitride framework can be used for mobile phones as well as smart radios, satellite systems and internet of things (IoT) technologies.
Varansi noted that while the switches are currently being used for 4G cellphones, different components are needed to support 5G switching for applications such as smart homes. The team’s concept can help prevent rapid battery drains that result from switching networks and downloading data, he added.
The research and development initiative comes as part of ARO’s research grant program in partnership with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.