LONDON Scientists at the Georgia Electronic Design Center in the U.S, led by Professor Joy Laskar, are working on ways to use extremely high radio frequencies, up to 60GHz, to transfer very large data files over short distances.
They suggest the technique could complement current wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that use frequencies nearer the 2 to 2.5 GHz range, which, like the 60GHz band, is unlicensed and largely untapped.
The GEDC has so far achieved data rates of 15Gbit/s over a span of one meter, according to a report from the Associated Press. That translates into a download time of less than five seconds for a DVD-quality copy of a typical Hollywood movie.
The Georgia Tech group are by no means alone in looking to exploit the 60GHz frequency band for wireless networking. For instance earlier this year gigabit wireless technology startup SiBeam Inc. revealed some details of the 60GHz technology that it and partners in the WirelessHD consortium plan to deploy to deliver a promised gigabit per second of multimedia content wirelessly in the home.
Dubbed OmniLink60 and made in a standard CMOS process, the working chipsets will deliver non-line-of-sight beam steering and A/V connectivity for wireless video networks.
SiBeam (Sunnyvale, Calif.) said the first products will be WirelessHD compliant and would be used for wireless uncompressed video display.
As well as SiBeam, other members of the WirelessHD consortium, launched late last year, include LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), NEC Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., SiBeam Inc., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp.
Laskar's team is reportedly working on a chip that would cost about $5 and to date they have produced a few working prototypes.
The researchers suggest the technology would rival Ultra Wideband and wireless USB technologies, which are just coming on to the market.
UWB uses another unlicensed band, reaching up to 10.3 GHz and has a maximum current speed of around 480 Mbit/s while use of the 60 GHz band should provide the much higher speeds needed for applications such as HD video streaming.