With much of the mobile world yet to migrate to 3G mobile communications, let alone 4G, European researchers are already working on a new technology able to deliver data wirelessly up to 12.5Gb/s.
The technology – known as ‘millimetre (mm)-wave’ or microwave photonics – has commercial applications not just in telecommunications (access and in-house networks) but also in instrumentation, radar, security, radio astronomy and other fields.
Despite the quantum leap in performance made possible by combining the latest radio and optics technologies to produce mm-wave components, it will probably only be a few years before there are real benefits for the average EU citizen.
This is thanks to research and development work being done by the EU-funded project IPHOBAC, which brings together partners from both academia and industry with the aim of developing a new class of components and systems for mm-wave applications.
The mm-wave band is the extremely high frequency part of the radio spectrum, from 30 to 300 gigahertz (GHz), and it gets it name from having a wavelength of one to 10mm. Until now, the band has been largely undeveloped, so the new technology makes available for exploitation more of the scarce and much-in-demand spectrum.
Truly disruptive technology
- Wireless Broadband Races to 12.5 GBps With Microwaves (gigaom.com)
- EU sees high speed networking in Photonics (theregister.co.uk)
- Beyond WiMAX: Gigabit Wireless (gigaom.com)
- Intel claims opto-electronic breakthrough (vnunet.com)