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IBM launches chipset on unlicensed waveband

Lots of data but not much distance...

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IBM says its latest chip could boost wireless data transfer to ten times the current capacity.

The silicon-germanium chip uses an unlicensed section of the radio spectrum. There have been previous attempts to exploit the 30-300GHz wavelength bands, but they've been hampered by cost, size and difficulty integrating with other chips.

The chip includes transmitter, receiver and two antennas in a package the size of a dime.

Big Blue says the chips could be used to set up personal-area networks - working at less than ten metres. The technology could also be used for beaming uncompressed video content to a flat-screen display.

A report on this work will be presented tomorrow at San Francisco's Solid State Circuits conference.

Naked chip pictures available here. ®

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