Who doesn’t want faster Wi-Fi? No one, that’s who. Researchers in Japan are working on a new kind of Wi-Fi that might be able to help you out in the speed department. Terahertz range, or “t-ray“ wireless transmission has reached speeds up to 20 times faster than conventional radio Wi-Fi. It also lies in a currently unregulated area of the spectrum, meaning it could be fair game for Wi-Fi use someday.
T-rays, which fall between microwaves and infrared light, allow for some pretty speedy transmissions, up to 3 gbps using the most current version of t-ray Wi-Fi hardware being developed at Tokyo Institute of Technology. The current prototype, a proof-of-concept, uses something called a resonant tunneling diode, which will churn out terahertz frequency signals when properly tuned.
As with all exciting, super-fast alternatives to standard Wi-Fi, though, there’s a drawback. In this case, it’s that t-ray Wi-Fi operates over a pretty short range, and it’s very unlikely that range could ever be increased beyond, say, tens of yards. That said, researchers think they might be able to jack up the transmission rate to something around 100 gbps in the future, and with speeds like that, who cares if you have to be close?
All that said, it’s unlikely that typical radio Wi-Fi is going to be replaced any time soon, but considering that our level of data consumption isn’t likely to stop anytime soon either, it’s always good to be looking into alternatives. And if the laws of irony have any effect on things, we won’t discover a new, better Wi-Fi right until right around the time we finally get a good blanket of the traditional stuff installed, and that’s going to be a while.
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