Fujitsu's small 20Gbps receiver could transfer huge files instantly

Though limited in range, the terahertz technology offers much faster communication speeds than current mobile devices

Fujitsu has developed a wireless communications receiver that can transfer data at a rate of around 20 gigabits per second while being small enough to fit in a smartphone. 

The component would allow mobile devices to transfer 4K or 8K videos almost instantly. 8K is a new video format with 16 times the resolution of today's high-definition TVs. 

Fujitsu is calling it the world's first compact 300GHz receiver with that level of high-speed wireless communications. 

The device is smaller than 1 cubic centimeter and combines a receiver-amplifier chip and terahertz-band antenna into one unit. Its receiving sensitivity is much greater than similar components produced by other companies and allows for transmission ranges of up to 1 meter, the company said. 

"It is the first time such a highly sensitive terahertz band receiver has been made small enough to fit into a current-generation cellular phone," a Fujitsu spokesman said via email. 

In 2011, Japanese component maker Rohm Semiconductor developed an experimental wireless chip operating in the 300 GHz range and handling data at 1.5Gbps. It measured 1.5mm by 3mm.

While its range is very limited, the Fujitsu receiver would allow for massive file transfers when used with dedicated kiosks. That could justify the cubic centimeter of real estate that might be required on a smartphone. 

For instance, Fujitsu envisions the technology being used in train station kiosks to instantly receive videos and music to smartphones. Rapid transfers between mobile devices or quickly backing up device content on a server would also be possible. 

The receiver uses a polyimide for the printed-circuit substrate to minimize signal loss. It is combined with a mounting technology used in millimeter-wave band collision-avoidance radar chips. Fujitsu said the design expands the applicable frequencies into the terahertz band for the first time.

The terahertz band, which is found between the microwave and infrared regions of the spectrum, has been the focus of research for wireless capacity that could be used with data for 4K and 8K imagery as well as high-res audio. 

Though limited in range, terahertz-frequency signals can penetrate paper, plastic, walls and the outer layers of skin, opening up possibilities for security and medical applications.

Fujitsu is presenting its research this week at European Microwave Week (EuMW) in Paris. It plans to conduct field trials before April with an eye to commercialization in 2020. 

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Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
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