Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication: Design Challenges and Applications

Key Takeaways

  • Ultra-reliable low-latency communication is a key feature that supports applications that require reliability and low latency. 

  • The extremely low value of 1-millisecond air interface latency can be achieved in use cases supported by URLLC.

  • Reliability improvements are often compromised, as latency requirements limit the count of re-transmission in URLLC services.

 5G Systems

The deployment of 5G communication technology has recently gained momentum in various engineering fields

The use of 5G communication technology has recently gained momentum in various engineering fields. Applications that require high reliability, improved power efficiency, multiple connected devices, and lower latency are transitioning to 5G, and this technology plays a key role in the advancement of several mission-critical applications.

Ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) from 5G is a key feature that supports applications that require reliability and low latency. Intelligent transportation systems, smart electric utility grids, and industrial automation systems are just a few examples of fields that benefit from URLLC. 

In this article, we will explore URLLC further, including its components, challenges, and applications.

What Is Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication?

Ultra-reliable low-latency communication is a service category, just like enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) or massive machine-type communication (mMTC) in 5G. URLLC is developed as a subset of 5G network architecture to ensure the following services:

  1. Short transmissions through the use of large subcarriers.
  2. Ultra-efficient scheduling of data transfers.
  3. Scheduling of transmission overlaps.
  4. Low-latency for highly critical data transfers.

Latency and Other Advantages

URLLC doesn’t suffer from the latency issues faced by 4G LTE connectivity. The latency targeted with URLLC is below the 4-millisecond range (which is the 4G LTE latency range). The extremely low value of 1-millisecond air interface latency can be achieved in use cases supported by URLLC. The end-to-end latency between the device and base station is around 5 milliseconds in 5G systems utilizing URLLC. Along with 99.99% reliability, URLLC offers high-speed mobility and data rates ranging from low to medium. End-to-end data security is entrusted by URLLC features in mission-critical applications.

Components of URLLC Service

The design of URLLC includes the following components:

  1. Integrated framework
  2. Fast turnaround
  3. Efficient data resource sharing
  4. Efficient control
  5. Grant free-based uplink access
  6. Advanced channel coding schemes

The physical layer design of ultra-reliable low-latency communication is challenging, and designers must take caution to incorporate all the mentioned components. Let’s explore these challenges further.

Challenges in URLLC Physical Design

URLLC is one of the three main service categories listed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). URLLC is a service that aims at delivering data packets in applications requiring improved availability, reliability, and latency.

When designing systems where data transmission needs to be fast, reliable, and secure, URLLC is the best service. However, URLLC poses some challenges if the design tries to incorporate both reliability and latency at the same time, as latency and reliability are two conflicting factors in 5G systems; one is always compromised in classic communication systems to achieve the other.

For low latency, shorter data packets are used in classic communication systems. However, shorter packets adversely affect reliability due to degradation in channel coding. Unfortunately, reliability improvements are compromised for latency, as latency requirements limit the count of re-transmission in URLLC services.

How to Mitigate These Challenges

Typically, joint optimization of reliability and latency is performed to find the optimum solution that provides both. The optimal allocation of resources is carried out to achieve improved performance of the URLLC system. Data transmission schemes such as periodic scheduling, grant-based scheduling, and grant-free transmission are a few methods for improving the performance of URLLC services. 

URLLC in Autonomous Vehicle Applications

URLLC has a variety of applications; let’s explore how this technology is used in autonomous vehicles.

In autonomous vehicles, URLLC service is used to establish reliable and low-latency communication between the infrastructure network (for example, the 5G cellular network) and the autonomous vehicle.

Implementing URLLC as a solution in autonomous vehicles has its challenges. Developing a 5G architecture that supports latency and reliability simultaneously is a difficult job.

Ensure Reliability With Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication

Deploying URLLC in mission-critical applications ensures reliability and low latency. The physical layer design of ultra-reliable and low-latency services in 5G requires more attention.

Cadence tools can assist you in developing 5G architecture for applications such as intelligent transportation systems, healthcare, smart grids, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Cadence offers highly-efficient design tools to ensure the smooth development of URLLC physical layer designs.

Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

About the Author

Cadence PCB solutions is a complete front to back design tool to enable fast and efficient product creation. Cadence enables users accurately shorten design cycles to hand off to manufacturing through modern, IPC-2581 industry standard.

Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Cadence PCB Solutions
Previous Article
Cellular IoT Low-Power Protocols
Cellular IoT Low-Power Protocols

Learn all about cellular IoT low-power protocols in this brief article.

Next Article
All About Ka-Band Antenna Technology
All About Ka-Band Antenna Technology

Ka-band antennas showcase considerably good data transfer rates. Learn more about their advantages here.

OrCAD Free Trial

Try OrCAD Today