Researchers demo high speed wireless data transmission in THz range

Japanese researchers show that using THz frequencies in small or mobile devices is now a feasible option capable of achieving Wi-Fi data transmissions 10x faster than current rates

Researchers demo high speed wireless data transmission in THz range

As consumer need for access to faster Wi-Fi intensifies, an article published in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Electronics Letters journal reports how researchers from Japan have increased the speed of Wi-Fi data transmission by 10 times the current rate

The demonstrations achieved a record 34Gbit/second at a 500 GHz range. This falls within the terahertz range, which is approximately between 300GHz and 3THz.

The authors, from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (pictured above), originally published research exploring the direct intensity modulation and wireless data transmission characteristics of terahertz-oscillating resonant tunnelling (RTD) in 2012.

The authors found that while data transmission speeds were considerably faster than the current Wi-Fi standard, the low cut-off frequency of the modulation at just 1.5 GHz meant that speed was limited to a maximum 3 Gbit/s.

Through continued research, the team have now reported that speeds of up to 34Gbit/s can be achieved by reducing the parasitic components of the RTD device, which enabled a much higher cut-off frequency of 15 GHz.

The team also improved performance at room temperature and reduced the device's size, meaning that using THz frequencies in small or mobile devices is now a realistic option.

Commenting on the research, Naoto Oshimo, one of the authors of the paper, said: “Using the improved device, an error-free transmission up to a data rate of 22 Gbit/s, and a transmission with a bit error rate less than the forward error correction limit up to 34 Gbit/s, was achieved.

“The device performance is almost sufficient for short-distance wireless communication such as KIOSK downloads, which might be its first application.” Final ranges will be up to 10 metres, allowing for use in home Wi-Fi.

The application of the terahertz range for wireless communications has long been explored due to its potential to provide significant bandwidth for very high data transfer. Resonant-tunnelling-diodes (RTDs) are good candidates for achieving these frequencies as they have the unusual characteristic that the voltage across them can sometimes go down as current is increased.

In a final comment, Oshima said: “Owing to the increase in data traffic, the frequency used has been expanded for obtaining a wider bandwidth. This, we hope, will lead to a proliferation in THz wireless communication technology over the next decade.”

The article is published in the IET’s Electronics Letters, Volume 52, Issue 22: N. Oshima; K. Hashimoto; S. Suzuki; M. Asada: Wireless data transmission of 34 Gbit/s at a 500-GHz range using resonant-tunnelling-diode terahertz oscillator:

A discussion of the article can be accessed at

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