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Monday, August 22, 2011
NICT Achieves a 40 Gigabits/s Wireless Transmission

The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan), in collaboration with Osaka University, has succeeded in the world's fastest wireless transmission using radio waves.

The bit rate was 40 gigabits per second (Gbps), 130 times faster than that of commercially available Wi-Fi technologies, - enough high speed to transmit 32 gigabytes of data just in six seconds. This result far surpassed the previous transmission record of 27 Gbps.

High-performance mobile terminals such as smart phones require high-speed data transmission are gaining popularity. To meet the demand, optical fiber communications are used to provide broadband connections between fixed points, but they are not completely suitable for wireless communication technologies of mobile terminals when it comes to convenience. For example, regarding transmission speed, wireless systems are much slower than optical fiber systems: the bit rate of IEEE 802.11n is 0.3 Gbps because available radio wave bandwidths are limited, while over 10 Gbps optical transmission is commonly used in commercial systems. The bit rate difference between optical and radio-wave systems should be reduced in order to increase satisfaction of mobile terminal users. Microwave bands are commonly used for various types of wireless systems, with most of frequency resources already occupied by existing services, whereas there are wide bands available in millimeter-wave bands.

Based on NICT's recent outcomes: "photonic millimeter-wave source" and "high-speed and precise 16-level optical modulation", NICT has demonstrated 40 Gbps millimeter-wave wireless transmission, using "photonic to millimeter-wave conversion" newly developed by NICT and "digital signal processing" by Osaka-U. Millimeter-wave has wide-frequency resources available, however, precise and high-speed control of millimeter-waves is not easily attained because the frequency is much higher than in microwave bands. In NICT's experiment, the scientists have achieved wideband signal modulation and demodulation of millimeter-waves by using optical technologies which can provide wideband operation.

NICT plans to report details of their demonstration in the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC), September 18-22, 2011 at Geneva, Switzerland.

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