multiplexing data carried on terahertz waves

Mittleman Lab/Ducournau Lab/Brown University/CNRS/University of Lille

The annual run rate for global IP traffic was 1.2 ZB (Zettabytes) in 2016, with PCs accounting for 46 percent of total IP traffic. Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 year, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24 percent over that time. Today most wireless networks use microwaves to carry signals wirelessly and only operate at max speeds of 1/2 a gigabyte per second.  So with demand outpacing capacity new wi-fi technologies are needed.

Now in what could soon be breakthrough technology a team at Brown University via sent video data using terahertz waves (via high-frequency radiation), rather than traditional microwaves, at speeds of 50 gigabytes per second. At streaming speeds 100 times the speed of today’s fastest wi-fi when this technology can be commercialized it will bring a new dawn of ultra-high bandwidth wireless networks.

Lead author Daniel Mittleman, a professor in Brown’s School of Engineering spoke of the achievement saying: “This is the first time anybody has characterized a terahertz multiplexing system using actual data, and our results show that our approach could be viable in future terahertz wireless networks.”

In reference to multiplexing, it is the capability to send multiple signals through a single channel.  The achievement by lead author Mittleman and his Brown University team is the first time that terahertz waves have been used to send real data via multiplexing signals through a single channel. But the author says that advancements in terahertz technologies are being slowed as the FCC has just started the process of allocating frequency bands for their use.  Mittleman said: “Companies are going to be reluctant to develop terahertz technologies until there’s a serious effort by regulators to  allocate frequency bands for specific uses, so this is a step in the right direction.”