Gigabit wireless to get rid of desk and data centre wires


Gigabit wireless to get rid of desk and data centre wires

Antony Savvas

New gigabit wireless research at the Georgia Institute of Technology could soon make tangles of wires under desks and even in datacentres a thing of the past.

Scientists at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC) at Georgia Tech are investigating the use of extremely high radio frequencies to achieve broad-bandwidth and high-data transmission rates over short distances.

The multi-gigabit wireless approach could result in a bevy of personal area network (Pan) applications, including next-generation home multimedia and wireless data connections able to transfer an entire DVD in seconds, said the college.

The research focuses on radio frequencies around 60 gigahertz. GEDC researchers have already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 Gbps at a distance of 1 metre, 10 Gbps at 2 metres and 5 Gbps at 5 metres.

"The goal is to maximise data throughput to make possible a host of new wireless applications for home and office connectivity," said Professor Joy Laskar, GEDC director and lead researcher on the project along with GEDC research scientist Stephane Pinel.

Such high-speed, peer-to-peer data connections could be available in less than two years, said Pinel.

Devices such as external hard drives, laptop computers, MP3 players, mobile phones, commercial kiosks and others could transfer huge amounts of data in seconds.

And data centres could install racks of servers without the customary jumble of wires, said Pinel.

"Our work represents a huge leap in available throughput," Pinel said. "At 10 Gbps, you could download a DVD from a kiosk to your cell phone in five seconds, or you could quickly synchronise two laptops or two iPods."

The input-output system of current devices cannot approach such speeds, he said.

Pinel said users of multi-gigabit technology could wirelessly connect to any device that currently uses Firewire or USB.

The Georgia Tech team is seeking to preserve backward compatibility with the WiFi standard used in most wireless Lans today.

GEDC researchers are pursuing this goal by modifying the system architecture to increase intelligence and effectiveness in the CMOS RF integrated circuits that transmit the data.

The GEDC technology focuses on implementing a radio frequency concept called "single input single output and multiple input multiple output", which enables ultra-fast data throughput.

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