The researchers have figured out a way to gauge the upper and lower bounds of capacity in a wireless network. Such understanding could enable enterprises and service providers to design more efficient networks regardless of how much noise is on them (and wireless networks can get pretty darn noisy).
More details from MIT press office.
100 terahertz level
A University of Pittsburgh research team is claiming a communications breakthrough that they say could be used to speed up electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops in a big way. Their advance is a demonstrated access to more than 100 terahertz of bandwidth (electromagnetic spectrum between infrared and microwave light), whereas electronic devices traditionally have been limited to bandwidth in the gigahertz realm.
Researchers Hrvoje Petek of the University of Pittsburgh and visiting professor Muneaki Hase of the University of Tsukuba in Japan, have published their NSF-funded research findings in a paper in Nature Photonics. The researchers "detail their success in generating a frequency comb-dividing a single color of light into a series of evenly spaced spectral lines for a variety of uses-that spans a more than 100 terahertz bandwidth by exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal."
Petek says the advance could result in devices that carry a thousand-fold more information.
Separately, IBM researchers have developed a prototype optical chip that can transfer data at 1Tbps, the equivalent of downloading 500 high-definition movies, using light pulses rather than by sending electrons over wires.
The Holey Optochip is described as a parallel optical transceiver consisting of a transmitter and a receiver, and designed to handle gobs of data on corporate and consumer networks.
Cooling off with graphene
Graphene is starting to sound like a potential wonder material for the electronics business. Researchers from the University of California at Riverside, the University of Texas at Dallas and Austin, and Xiamen University in China have come up with a way to engineer graphene so that it has much better thermal properties. Such an isotopically-engineered version of graphene could be used to build cooler-running laptops, wireless gear and other equipment. The need for such a material has grown as electronic devices have gotten more powerful but shrunk in size.