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Microring transmissions are sure to resonate with people who hate wires

Vlad Savov

You've probably seen sketches like the one above promising you complete cable independence since what, 1996? We're not about to tell you this is the one technology that finally delivers on that utopian dream, but it's surely one of the zanier attempts at it. By converting "ultra fast laser pulses" into radio frequency waves, the researchers claim they've overcome a significant hurdle to making wireless communications ubiquitous -- signal interference. The rapid (each laser burst lasts a mere 100 femtoseconds), pulsing nature of their approach purportedly makes their signal extremely robust, while intended operation at around 60GHz means their microring transmitters (diagram after the break) will be able to operate within spectrum space that does not require a license -- neither from the FCC nor internationally. Applications for the microrings would include things like HDTV broadcasts and piping data into vehicles, although we won't be seeing anything happening on the commercial front for at least another five years. Typical. If you just can't wait that long, a few Japanese companies you may have heard of are preparing their own 60GHz wireless devices for the second half of this year.

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