About 30 Gigabits per second is the record speed of data transfer achieved by a group of researchers at the Japanese University of Osaka who succeeded in creating a new terahertz frequency radiation receiver that enables extremely rapid wireless data communication. The record 30-gigabit-per-second real-time transmission with no errors could pave the way for next-generation (6G) cellular network technology. The results of their research were published in Scientific Reports.
The high frequency of terahertz radiation would allow more data to be transmitted per second, compared to the current standard of around 800 MHz. A practical terahertz receiver has for long remained unachievable, for two main reasons. First of all, electromagnetic oscillations are too fast to be handled by conventional electronics, and both the oscillator and the terahertz detector have poor efficiency. Secondly, the thermal noise of the room temperature detector obscures the signals received above.
Now, researchers at the University of Osaka have invented a new receiver that not only overcomes these obstacles, but has also set the record for the fastest real-time transmission speed without errors. They used a special electronic component called a resonant tunneling diode. Contrary to normal electronics – for which the current always increases at higher voltages – in a resonant tunnel diode, there is a specific “resonant” voltage that produces the peak current. Therefore, there is a region in which the current actually falls as the voltage increases. This non-linear behavior allows scientists to synchronize the rapid terahertz signals received with an internal electronic oscillator in the device and then separate the data from the carrier wave. In the end, the sensitivity was improved by a factor of 10,000. Cell phone towers are not the only places where you could find terahertz radiation in the future. “This technology – explained the main author of the research, Masayuki Fujita – can be used in a wide range of applications, in addition to the new generation 6G wireless communication. These include spectroscopic detection, non-destructive inspection and radar high resolution”.