While smartphone users world over are awaiting deployment of 5G tech by their respective mobile service providers, researchers from Japan have stolen the march over 5G by developing a new terahertz transmitter which can transmit data at an unbelievable speed of more than 100Gbs and above. While the fifth generation of mobile network, 5G is hardly three years away from its launch in 2020, this new tech could totally change the face of how we transmit data wirelessly.
Researchers in Japan have been able to successfully go beyond 5G data speeds to reach terahertz (THz) data transmission speeds that are 10 times faster than 5G, which is currently in trial phase. The breakthrough will make way for faster downloads and improve in-flight network connection speeds. The THz transmitter could also make it possible for the whole content on a DVD (digital versatile disk) to be transferred in a fraction of a second.
The scientists are developing a THz transmitter that will transmit data at over 10Gbps using 300GHz frequencies. The 300GHz band is higher-up the spectrum than 5G is likely to use.
Just like 3G, 4G and 5G that operate in distinctive radio frequency bands to achieve enhanced transmission speeds, the THz band is a new and massive frequency resource expected to be used for future ultrahigh-speed wireless communications. The transmitter achieves a communication speed of 105 gigabits per second using the frequency range from 290 GHz to 315 GHz.
“Terahertz could offer ultrahigh-speed links to satellites as well, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds, for example. Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations,” said one of the researchers Minoru Fujishima, Professor at Hiroshima University in Japan.
Currently, in most parts of the world, including in India, the 4G LTE speeds peak out at 50 Mbps. In trial tests conducted for 5G data speeds, they have easily reached over 3 Gbps to 50 Gbps. In fact, last year some trials in Japan actually saw 5G researchers go beyond 100 Gbps wireless data transfer speeds.
“This year, we developed a transmitter with 10 times higher transmission power than the previous version’s. This made the per-channel data rate above 100 Gbit per second at 300 GHz possible,” said Fujishima.
“We usually talk about wireless data rates in megabits per second or gigabits per second. But we are now approaching terabits per second using a plain simple single communication channel,” said Fujishima. “Fibre optics realised ultrahigh-speed wired links, and wireless links have been left far behind,” he said. “Terahertz could offer ultrahigh-speed links to satellites as well, which can only be wireless. That could, in turn, significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds, for example,” Fujishima added.
“Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations,” he added. “Another, completely new possibility offered by terahertz wireless is high-data-rate minimum-latency communications,” said Fujishima. “Optical fibres are made of glass and the speed of light slows down in fibres. That makes fibre optics inadequate for applications requiring real-time responses,” he said.
The research was actually scheduled to be presented at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2017 to be held from February 5-9 in San Francisco, California.