Terahertz frequencies bring Japanese researchers 3Gbps in a WiFi prototype

The tiny wireless radio transmits on spectrum between 300GHz and 3THz


A team of researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have transmitted data on the terahertz range of spectrum using a wireless radio no bigger than a 10-yen coin (roughly the size of a penny). The tiny contraption can access spectrum between 300GHz and 3THz (otherwise known as T-Rays for terahertz), and was able to transfer data at a speed of 3Gbps. But this was only a test run—researchers suspect that using terahertz spectrum could get data transfer up to rates of 100 Gbps.

The newest WiFi standard available to consumers (but not yet ratified by the IEEE), 802.11 ac, transmits on a 5GHz band and can theoretically achieve 1.3Gbps. There’s an even-further-out standard in the works as well; 802.11ad (otherwise known as WiGig) will transmit on the 60 GHz rage for a theoretical 10 Gbps—although this will generally only be within a line-of-sight range.

A T-ray based WiFi is certainly far off, and the greatly increased frequency of the transmission will undoubtedly require devices using terahertz spectrum to be quite close to each other. As Extreme Tech points out, the short distance of transmission for this technology would be better for server farms than anything else, permitting servers to share data between each other wirelessly rather than through a web of wiring.

Aside from the potentially huge bandwidth of T-ray networking, there’s another reason the spectrum is so attractive. Terahertz waves are unregulated, and present an untouched frontier away from currently crowded bands of spectrum.

Source:  arstechnica.com

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