Imagine being able to transmit the entire contents of a Blu-Ray in less than a second? Or 1TB in 10 seconds? Although it sounds like science fiction, this peak velocity has been achieved through WiFi.
A team of scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has broken the world speed record for wireless data transfer with 100 gigabits per second transmitted at a frequency of 237.5 GHz and at a distance 20 meters. The German institute had already achieved in previous experiments reaching 40 gigabits rates at distances of 1 km within a project called “Millilink”.
This new system of data transfer via WiFi signals using super-high frequency (at 237.5 GHz), much higher than the frequencies of a home router (2.4 or 5GHz). The downside is that, so far, this connection of super-high frequency antennas requires that both send and receive data to be opposite each other, without any obstacles in the way. Even so, this is the first step in an expansion of WiFi technology at limits which have not yet known.
The experiment applied photonics technology for generating wireless signals. The base is a common network infrastructure of the optical fiber which provided for coupling to a receiver/photonic mixer capable of transmitting the signal. On the other hand, an integrated electronic circuit (shown below) receives and decodes the signal.
“Our project is based on the integration of wireless broadband fiber optic systems. The photonic method has the great advantage of being able to convert the data stream of the fiber of high frequency signals,” explains Professor Ingmar Kallfass.
Kallfass captained the research that began in early 2013 at the University of Stuttgart. “For rural areas in particular, this research represents a cheap and flexible alternative to fiber optic lines, whose extension can usually be justified from the economic point of view.” The professor also summarizes the ability of this system: “A data rate of 100 gigabits per second, it would be possible to transmit the contents of a Blu-ray or five DVDs wirelessly in just five seconds.”
However, one of KIT researchers, Swen Konig, are not satisfied with this record, and he stated that “using multiplexing techniques and optical electronics (ie simultaneously transmitting multiple data streams) and using simple antennas, the researchers could multiply the data rate.”
Although there is still a long way to the refinement of this technology and its commercial development, it could be a great alternative to having to pull the fiber optic cable in order to achieve speeds.
Photo Credit: KIT