Wireless Speed Record: 2.5 Terabits per second

While most people may be satisfied with 1 Gbps wireless (using 802.11ac), or even 7 Gbps wireless (using the 60 GHz 802.11ad standard), researchers have entered the flux-capacitor world, transmiting data at 2.5 terabits per second using a twisted, vortex beam.

The new modulation technique is called orbital angular momentum (OAM), as reported in Nature.

Researchers from the University of Southern California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tel Aviv University, were able to cram much more data into a single stream by twisting together eight ~300Gbps visible light data streams using OAM, reports ExtremeTech.

Each of the eight beams has a different level of OAM twist. The beams are bundled into two groups of four, which are passed through different polarization filters.

This achievement comes just a few months after Bo Thide of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and a team in Italy proved that OAM is actually possible.

According to Thide, OAM should allow us to twist together an “infinite number” of conventional transmission protocols without using any more spectrum.

Twisted radio waves might provide a solution for increasing bandwidth capacity, opines ExtremeTech, although the technique seems more applicable to optical networks since it uses polarization and light beams.

The experiment using a OAM link delivered a spectral efficiency of 95.7 bits per hertz; compared to LTE, which maxes out at 16.32 bits/Hz; and 802.11n which is 2.4 bits/Hz. Digital TV (DVB-T) is just 0.55 bits/Hz.

Spectrum efficiency typically doubles about every 30 months, so don’t look for it to turn up at Frys anytime soon to link up your 8K cinema display.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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