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'World's fastest WiFi' uses 'lasers'

Tim Stevens
September 12, 2008
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We love the smell of a "world's fastest" or "world's largest" claim in the morning. This time it's a team of researchers led by Ernesto Ciaramella at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa Italy, saying they've developed the "world's fastest WiFi." Their network beams data at an amazing 1.2Tbps over a few kilometers, more than enough to share your entire Kurosawa collection faster than you can say "Yojimbo." So, performance claims are valid, but we're not sure about that "WiFi" part. Data was transmitted using Free Space Optics (FSO), blinking lasers or LEDs that act like fiber optics without the fiber. This means line-of-sight connections only, so if you get frustrated when concrete walls hamper your WiFi downloads imagine how you'd feel if a little puffy cloud killed all your torrents. So, fastest wireless? Check. Practical solution for high-speed wireless communications? Not so much.

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