AsianScientist (Feb. 10, 2017) – Researchers in Japan have developed a transmitter than can send data ten times faster than the current fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks expected to appear around 2020. Their results have been presented a the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) held from February 5-9, 2017.
“We usually talk about wireless data rates in megabits per second or gigabits per second. But we are now approaching terabits per second using a plain simple single communication channel,” said Professor Minoru Fujishima from the Graduate School of Advanced Sciences of Matter, Hiroshima University.
“Fiber optics realized ultrahigh-speed wired links, and wireless links have been left far behind. Terahertz could offer ultrahigh-speed links to satellites as well, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds, for example. Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations,” he added.
Fujishima and has team from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and Panasonic Corporation have developed a transmitter using the frequency range of 290 GHz to 315 GHz that has a speed of 105 gigabits per second. This range of frequencies are currently unallocated but fall within the frequency range from 275 GHz to 450 GHz, whose usage is to be discussed at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2019 under the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Section (ITU-R).
Last year, the group demonstrated that the speed of a wireless link in the 300-GHz band could be greatly enhanced by using quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). This year, they showed six times higher per-channel data rate, exceeding 100 gigabits per second for the first time as an integrated-circuit-based transmitter. At this data rate, the whole content on a DVD (digital versatile disk) can be transferred in a fraction of a second.
“This year, we developed a transmitter with ten times higher transmission power than the previous version’s. This made the per-channel data rate above 100 Gbit/s at 300 GHz possible,” Fujishima said.
“Another, completely new possibility offered by terahertz wireless is high-data-rate minimum-latency communications. Optical fibers are made of glass and the speed of light slows down in fibers. That makes fiber optics inadequate for applications requiring real-time responses. Today, you must make a choice between ‘high data rate’ (fiber optics) and ‘minimum latency’ (microwave links). You can’t have them both. But with terahertz wireless, we could have light-speed minimum-latency links supporting fiber-optic data rates,” he added.
The research group plans to further develop 300-GHz ultrahigh-speed wireless circuits.
The article can be found at: Katayama et al. (2016) A 300GHz 40nm CMOS Transmitter with 32-QAM 17.5Gb/s/ch Capability over 6 Channels.
Source: Hiroshima University.
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