May 17, 2012
Super Fast Wi-Fi, Courtesy Of Japan
Japanese researchers have broken a world record for the fastest wireless data transmission by using the terahertz band.
Their achieved speed was up to 20 times faster than our normal Wi-Fi speeds. By using the yet uncharted terahertz band, the researchers hope to open up a new level of spectrum to data hungry consumers.Published in Electronics Letters, the research suggests this band, referred to as “T-Ray,” could offer just the bandwidth we´ve been looking for in data transmission.
The T-Ray band sits in between the microwave bands and the infrared regions of the spectrum and is as of yet completely unregulated by any telecommunications agency.
Similar to how telecommunications carriers refer to 4G speeds when they are anything but, frequencies in the T-Ray band aren´t completely in the terahertz range. The band uses frequencies from near the 300 gigahertz range to about 3 terahertz. These speeds are still significantly higher than normal Wi-Fi standards, however, as 300 GHz is 60 times higher than current standards.
This terahertz band is used primarily in imaging and x-ray applications, as these waves can penetrate through objects without leaving behind extra energy and causing less damage.
As such, the technology used to generate and detect these T-Rays have until now been too big and power hungry to be plausibly used in any small application. This may change soon, however, as electronic component firm ROHM demonstrated a 1.5Gb/s data transfer at 300 GHz last November.
Building on this development, the Japanese team says any future T-Ray Wi-Fi could only work within a range of 10 yards, but could potentially reach speeds of up to 100 Gb/s.
The researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, for example, demonstrated a 3Gb/s transfer at 542 GHz.
Making these speeds possible is a small, 1 mm device known as a resonant tunneling diode, or RTD.
Devices such as these are unique in that the voltage they are able to produce can often go down as the current is increased, balancing the two and allowing them to work in harmony.
As such, these RTDs are designed so that the entire process causes the diode to “resonate,” which in turn sprays out the waves into the terahertz band.
According to BBC News, the team is now planning to improve their proof-of-principle test device and further extend their range into the terahertz frequencies, as well as increasing the power these devices can put out.
As it stands, these new T-Ray bands are almost 15 times faster than the next generation of Wi-Fi standards, 802.11ac. This Wi-Fi standard is still under development and is expected to be the first Wi-Fi standard to break through the GB barrier. According to Techradar.com, routers that operate in this 802.11ac range won´t be commercially available until next year. Netgear has just announced they will be the first to bring these 802.11ac routers to the US market.