Digital, mobile and networked – changing media usage habits of modern society require the faster transmission of increasing vol-umes of data.
Speed. It’s a movie. It’s a drug. And it’s also something that throngs of internet users the world over cannot get enough of. Thankfully, the wizards at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology have figured out a way to satisfy the unsatisfiable, announcing this week a world record in the area of wireless data transmission. Researchers were able to achieve 40Gbit/sec at 240GHz over a distance of one kilometer, essentially matching the capacity of optical fiber… but, you know, without the actual tether.
The goal here, of course, isn’t to lower your ping times beyond where they are already; it’s to give rural communities across the globe a decent shot at enjoying broadband. Distances of over one kilometer have already been covered by using a long range demonstrator, which the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology set up between two skyscrapers as part of the project “Millilink”.
High frequencies enable fast data transmission
Using the high frequency range between 200 and 280 GHz not only enables the fast transmission of large volumes of data, but also results in very compact technical assembly. Since the size of elec-tronic circuits and antennae scales with frequency / wavelength, the transmitter and receiver chip only measures 4 x 1.5 mm². The semi-conductor technology developed at Fraunhofer IAF, based on tran-sistors with high carrier mobility (HEMT), makes it possible to use the frequency between 200 and 280 GHz with active transmitters and receivers in the form of compact, integrated circuits. The at-mosphere shows low attenuation in this frequency range, which enables broadband directional radio links. “This makes our radio link easier to install compared to free-space optical systems for data transmission. It also shows better robustness in poor weather condi-tions such as fog or rain”, explains Jochen Antes of KIT.
There’s no clear word on when the findings will be ported over to the commercial realm, but given the traction we’re seeing in the white spaces arena, we doubt you’ll have to wait long.