John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

New Terahertz Wireless Connection Faster Than Your Microwave Oven

With the lower-frequency bands of the wireless spectrum becoming increasingly more crowded, scientists are searching out new swathes of spectrum over which to transmit our data. Among the most promising of those: The terahertz band, a completely unregulated range that lies somewhere between the microwave and infrared regions of the spectrum.

Typically, transmitting data across this band has required large, power-hungry equipment. But now researchers in Japan have managed to do it with far less complex equipment, and in doing so, have broken the terahertz wireless-transmission speed record.

Using a device called a resonant tunneling diode, Tokyo University researchers were able to achieve a 3 gigabits-per-second data transmission over the terahertz band — double the speed of the previous record set back in November by chipmaker Rohm.

Truly an impressive speed, though, as is often the case with advanced technologies like these, it comes with a caveat. The connection over which the data is transmitted is only good over distances of about 30 feet. So it’s not really an outright replacement for Wi-Fi. That said, there are plenty of short-range applications for which it would be perfect — transmitting media among home entertainment devices, backing up a PC to a wireless hard drive, etc.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik