Feeds

Georgia Tech proposes terabit NFC antenna

Graphene to handle sum-millimeter radio waves

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A group from Georgia Tech is hoping to build a micro-scale graphene antenna that would support terabit – or even hundred-terabit – radio communications.

Why micro-scale? Because the researchers are looking at handling radio waves that in the terahertz range, getting close to the far infrared, where the wavelengths involved are well below a millimeter. And why graphene? Because if it's fabricated the right way, electrons pass through very quickly (and, therefore, it supports the very fast oscillations that you need for a terahertz transmitter/receiver), supporting much higher frequencies than a scaled-down metallic antenna could match.

It's hardly the kind of development that's going to bring about the death of cables over any distance: the researchers are looking at a 1 Tbps transmission at a distance of one meter, or 100 Tbps at a few centimeters. Over larger distances, terahertz waves are too well absorbed by the atmosphere to be of any use.

However, at short distances, as Technology Review points out, really fast communications would be useful for transfers between devices (meaning the wife in the Samsung Galaxy SIII “Work Trip” advertisement could give hubby more than one video that he shouldn't watch on the plane), or more mundanely, for backing up huge amounts of data to an external drive without waiting overnight.

That's if, of course, the other problems of fast data transfer were addressed, like hard drive access times and bus transfer times. There's also the matter of developing electronics that can drive the wireless channel at terabit speeds.

For the communication channel, the Georgia Tech group led by Dr Ian Akyildiz proposes shaping graphene into strips thinner than 100 nanometers wide and a micron long. (A one-micron quarter-wavelength antenna would correspond to a baseband frequency of around 75 terahertz, which seems to The Register reasonable enough to transmit 100 Tbps).

Right now, Dr Akyildiz's group has designs and calculations and a paper accepted for publication in the IEEE's Journal of Selected Areas in Communication later this year, but it hopes to build a prototype within a year. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.