July 20, 2007

Multi-gigabit technology could soon eliminate wires

by Jan Harris

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Scientists at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing wireless technology for super-fast connectivity which could soon consign wired computers to the history books.

GEDC researchers are investigating the use of extremely high radio frequencies to achieve broad bandwidth and high data transmission rates over short distances.

Using radio frequencies in the unlicensed 60GHz range, the scientists have achieved wireless data transfer rates of 15Gbps at a distance of one metre, 10Gbps at two metres and 5Gbps at five metres. They are working to double both the speed and the range over the next year.

The “multi-gigabit wireless” technology uses radio frequencies which cannot penetrate walls or even human skin, meaning that it could have significant safety and security advantages.

The technology could lead to the development of next-generation personal area network applications within three years with commercial applications further down the line.

It will enable devices such as computers, MP3 players and mobile phones to transfer huge amounts of data in seconds – at 10 Gbps a DVD could be downloaded to a cell phone in just five seconds.

The technology is also backwards compatible with current WiFi technology because it involves modifying existing wireless LAN system architecture, making CMOS RF circuitry more effective.

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