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Terahertz wireless could replace fibre-optic links

A terahertz (THz) integrated-circuit-based transmitter has been developed by Hiroshima University, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Panasonic. It is capable of transmitting digital data at a rate exceeding 100Gbit/s using the 300GHz band – which is said to be 10 times faster than 5G.

“We usually talk about wireless data rates in megabits per second or gigabits per second. But we are now approaching terabits per second using a simple single communication channel," said Professor Minoru Fujishima at Hiroshima University.

According to Prof Fujishima, THz could offer ultrahigh speed links to satellites, which could significantly boost in-flight network connection speeds. Other possible applications include fast download from contents servers to mobile devices and ultrafast wireless links between base stations.

“Another, completely new possibility offered by THz wireless is high data rate minimum-latency communications. Optical fibres are made of glass and the speed of light slows down in fibres. That makes fibre optics inadequate for applications requiring real time responses,” he added.

“Today, you must make a choice between ‘high data rate’ and ‘minimum latency’. You can’t have them both. But with THz wireless, we could have light speed minimum-latency links supporting fibre-optic data rates.”

Peggy Lee

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