T-Rays Could Bring 100Gb/s Wi-Fi -- But Not Very Far

Good news everybody! Boffins have worked out a way to greatly expand the throughput of Wi-Fi, up to a demonstrated 1.5Gb/s. There's only one little problem -- the range isn't terribly impressive.

The research, published in Electronics Letters, shows that terahertz band rays -- between the microwave and far-infrared regions, and so far unregulated -- could be used for data transmissions; Japanese scientists have successfully demonstrated apparatus working at 3Gb/s at 542GHz, but there's room for it to ramp up to a theoretical 100Gb/s. The current research uses a 1sqmm device known as a resonant tunnelling diode, which produces smaller voltages with increasing current. By tuning the current, the researchers can make the diode resonate and send out signals in the terahertz band.

Before anyone gets all excited about the possibilities of wireless NBN substitutes, it's worth pointing out that the range of these rays isn't that impressive; they peter out after around 10 metres. Or in other words, you'd need a lot of repeaters just to cover an ordinary household. [Electronic Letters via BBC]

Image: Mitchperu