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T-rays produce 3Gbps short-range wireless, make WiFi pout in the corner

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 16, 2012
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The last time we saw T-rays, they were busy scanning bodies for tumors and security threats. Six researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology are now aiming the terahertz-level frequencies at a less organic target: fast wireless. Running at 542GHz, a rate that makes 60GHz ultra wideband look pokey, the scientists are sending data through the ether at about 3Gbps. The speed isn't as fast as the 7Gbps peak of WiGig, and the bandwidth runs dry at just 33 feet away, but it comes out of a resonant tunneling diode measuring 0.04 square inches -- definitely small enough to fit into a smartphone. The speed could magnify using higher frequencies and power levels, too, with 100Gbps being the dream. Knowing that it can take years for academic papers to translate to real products, we're not holding our breath for T-ray routers anytime soon. Still, the technology could make wideband a realistic option for handhelds and put the mere 1.3Gbps of 802.11ac WiFi to shame.

[Thanks, Andrew. Image credit: Deborah Miller and Warren Scott, Connexions]

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