On the path to terabit per second wireless communication for the last mile

In October, a team reported a record 100-gigabit-per-second wireless data transmission using a near terahertz wavelength (237.5 Ghz).

The researchers believe that this approach provides a path to scale wireless communications to Terabit per second rates over distances of over 1 km. Terabit per second communication for the last mile. The last mile is the most expensive part of creating high speed communication to the end user. It is where it is good to avoid wiring up every home and apartment.

In May, 2013 they had gotten to 40 gigabit per second wireless links.

Scientists in Germany, at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics, and the University of Stuttgart, created a wireless connection between a transmitter and a receiver that were 20 meters apart at a frequency of 237.5 GHz. This frequency is in the millimeter-wave portion of the spectrum and tantalizingly close to the terahertz region (usually defined as starting at 300 GHz). The terahertz region has a lot of potential because its radiation is nonionizing and yet can penetrate clothing, making possible things like advanced bomb detection and body screening.

Prospective application scenario for a long-range, high-capacity wireless communication link at terahertz frequencies. A wireless link bridges a broad river in difficult-to-access terrain to provide high-speed internet access in remote and rural areas.

Nature Photonics – Wireless sub-THz communication system with high data rate

In communications, the frequency range 0.1–30 THz is essentially terra incognita. Recently, research has focused on this terahertz gap, because the high carrier frequencies promise unprecedented channel capacities1. Indeed, data rates of 100 Gbit per second were predicted for 2015. Here, we present, for the first time, a single-input and single-output wireless communication system at 237.5 GHz for transmitting data over 20 m at a data rate of 100 Gbit per second. This breakthrough results from combining terahertz photonics and electronics, whereby a narrow-band terahertz carrier is photonically generated by mixing comb lines of a mode-locked laser in a uni-travelling-carrier photodiode. The uni-travelling-carrier photodiode output is then radiated over a beam-focusing antenna. The signal is received by a millimetre-wave monolithic integrated circuit comprising novel terahertz mixers and amplifiers. We believe that this approach provides a path to scale wireless communications to Terabit per second rates over distances of over 1 km.

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