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Networking Wireless Networking Hardware

Ubiquitous Multi-Gigabit Wireless Within Three Years 152

Anonymous Howard passed us a link to the Press Escape blog, and a post about the future of ultra-fast wireless connectivity. Georgia Tech researchers unveiled plans to use ultra-high frequency radio transmissions to achieve very high data transmission rates over short distances. In a few years, the article says, we'll have ubiquitous multi-gigabit wireless connectivity, with some significant advances already under their belts. "GEDC team have already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 gigabits per second (Gbps) at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gbps at 2 meters and 5 Gbps at 5 meters. 'The goal here is to maximize data throughput to make possible a host of new wireless applications for home and office connectivity,' said Prof. Joy Laskar, GEDC director and lead researcher on the project along with Stephane Pinel. Pinel is confident that Very high speed, p2p data connections could be available potentially in less than two years. The research could lead to devices such as external hard drives, laptop computers, MP-3 players, cell phones, commercial kiosks and others could transfer huge amounts of data in seconds while data centers could install racks of servers without the customary jumble of wires."
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Ubiquitous Multi-Gigabit Wireless Within Three Years

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  • by ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @02:18PM (#19917793)
    There are 2 ways to increase the amount of data that can be sent. Increase the carrier frequency or increase the bandwidth. What these people have done is increase the carrier frequency. Wireless today runs on 2.4ghz, these devices run up to 60ghz. What does that mean? Well it'll take more energy, higher frequency means higher energy, also it attenuates more, meaning shorter range. Not only that, but it can will be more readily absorbed by things like bricks, desks, your foot, etc.

    The alternative to this is to increase bandwidth, say use 2.1ghz through 2.6ghz for 1 signal. The obviously downsides to this are you can't run many concurrent streams.
    All in all wireless data transfer has a very real ceiling on the amount of data that can be transferred, lower frequency means longer range and ability to go through obstacles, at the cost of reduced data-carrying capacity. I guess the point of this post is to point out that there is only so far we can go with wireless data transfer. I don't think it will be able to keep up (over the long run) with the increasing size of traffic to be a viable alternative to cables when it comes to things like comptuer networking. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
  • Re:metric? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2007 @02:20PM (#19917825)
    Says some who's obviously not old enough to drive a car and see "mph" or "kph" on the dash.

    Posted anon cuz you ain't worth the karma. ;-)
  • by rcw-work ( 30090 ) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @03:39PM (#19918601)

    There are 2 ways to increase the amount of data that can be sent.

    There are actually four:

    • Increase the signal strength (using a directional antenna or amplifier)
    • Decrease noise (use higher-quality components, shut off interfering transmitters, use directional antennas)
    • Increase the signal bandwidth
    • Increase signal spectral efficiency (for example use OFDM instead of FSK)

    Changing the carrier frequency has no effect, except that there's more room for higher-bandwidth signals at higher frequencies. 2.400-2.422GHz seems like a smaller chunk than 400-422MHz, but it can carry the same data.

    The formula for how many bits you can send and receive error-free is the Shannon-Hartley theorem [wikipedia.org], and spectral efficiency is typically stated as a percentage of the theoretical.

  • by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @04:25PM (#19919049)
    Well, let's do some math. Let's say we've got a 1680x1050 display at 24 bpp and an update rate of 60 Hz. That's 1680*1050*24*60 bits per second -- in other words, 2.37 Gbps. So, yes, a connection like this could conceivably run a remote display.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly