Scientists Make Wi-Fi Twenty Times Faster

If you're never content with Wi-Fi speeds, rest assured that scientists are trying to help. In fact, a team of Japanese researchers has just broken the record for wireless data transmission in the terahertz range—with a data rate 20 times higher than most current Wi-Fi connections.

The research focuses on what scientists call the "T-ray" band: the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between 300 GHz and 3 THz. Lying between microwave and far-infrared, it's currently an unregulated part of the spectrum, which could be fair game for use in Wi-Fi networks in the future.

The researchers, from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, have developed hardware capable of transmitting data at 3Gb/s—that's about 20 times faster than current Wi-Fi connections—at frequencies up to 542GHz. The results are published in Electronics Letters.

To do that, they used a 1 millimeter-square device known as a resonant tunneling diode, which produces smaller voltages with increasing current. By tuning the current, the team are able to make the tiny device resonate, and spit out signals in the terahertz band.

It is, of course, currently just a proof of concept, and terahertz Wi-Fi would probably only ever work over distances of the order of tens of yards. But given that researchers think it might be possible nudge 100Gb/s in the future, I think you could cope. You'll just have to be a little bit more careful with your data caps. [Electronics Letters via BBC]

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