Academic experts at the Fraunhofer Institute and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has claimed to have set a new world record of the wireless data transmission this week(a week after Samsung’s supposed 5G breakthrough), where they have successfully transmitted 40 gigabits per second over a one kilometre (0.62 miles) wireless link – a speeds that would allow the download of a DVD in a single second. Interestingly, 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.
“Millilink” is the name given to this project and the technology has the same speed just like the fastest commercial fibre optic links, and could represent a major breakthrough for carrier backbones, broadband Internet access in rural areas, and ultra-fast last mile access for customers who haven’t had fibre rolled out in their area.
Designed using special transistors with high-carrier mobility (HEMTs), the active transmitter and receiver design fits on a 4 x 1.5 mm integrated circuit (IC). The trick to the tiny size is the high frequencies — the circuit operates in the 200-280 GHz band with active transmitters and receivers in the form of compact, integrated circuits.
“We have managed to develop a radio link based on active electronic circuits, which enables similarly high data rates as in fiber-optic systems, therefore allowing seamless integration of the radio link. 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 conditions such as fog or rain”, explains Professor Jochen Antes of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology.
Up to now, radio links were not able to directly transmit the data rates of glass fiber. This might change in the future, as the test setup of the project shows. Such a high performance system would also have the advantage of the so-called bit transparency, i.e. the signal of a glass fiber could be fed directly and without energy-consuming transcoding into a radio link. It could then be transmitted and redirected into a glass fiber. The record data from the test setup is only the beginning. “Improving the spectral efficiency by using more complex modulation formats or a combination of several channels, i.e. multiplexing, will help to achieve even higher data rates”, says Antes. This could give new impetus to the expansion of the broadband network. Maybe Germany will then no longer occupy the lower ranks compared to the rest of Europe.
This project has received support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 2 million Euros of funding within the support measure “Next-generation broadband access networks.”
Source: Karlsruhe Institute for Technology
Photo credit: Ulrich Lewark(KIT) & Sandra Iselin(Fraunhofer IAF)