Engineering researchers from Columbia University in the US have devised a way to implement full duplex radio ICs in nanoscale CMOS. The devices are said to support simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency; something previously thought to be impossible. The presented its work at the recent ISSCC event in San Francisco.
"This is a game changer," claimed Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy. "By leveraging our new technology, networks can effectively double the frequency spectrum resources available for devices like smartphones and tablets."
With data communications facing a capacity crunch, the ability to transmit and receive at the same frequency could double network capacity. Prof Krishnaswamy noted that other research groups and companies have demonstrated the theoretical feasibility of simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency, but no one has built chips with this capability.
"Our work is the first to demonstrate an IC that can receive and transmit simultaneously," he claimed. "Doing this in an IC is critical if we are to have widespread impact and bring this functionality to handheld devices and in cellular and WiFi base stations to support full duplex communications."
The team now plans to test a number of full duplex nodes to understand gains at the network level. "We are working closely with Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Gil Zussman's group, who are network theory experts at Columbia Engineering. It will be very exciting if we are indeed able to deliver the promised performance gains," he concluded.