Researchers develop 'multi-gigabit' wireless

— 2:58 PM on July 23, 2007

It's no secret that wireless connectivity protocols like Bluetooth lag behind wired networking methods in terms of transfer rates. However, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say they've come up with a new wireless technology that they believe could replace cables altogether for bandwidth-hungry devices.

The researchers' multi-gigabit wireless technology is based on radio frequencies around 60GHz, and it has already been tested with transfer rates of a whopping 15Gbps (nearly 2GB/s) at a distance of one meter (3.3 feet). Transfer rates go down to 10Gbps (1.25GB/s) at 2m (6.6 feet) and 5Gbps (625MB/s) at 5m (16.4 feet), but the researchers intend to double those transfer rates by next year.

Within three years, the researchers say the technology could replace cables for external hard drives, MP3 players, DVD players, cell phones, commercial kiosks, data centers, and the like. "At 10 Gbps, you could download a DVD from a kiosk to your cell phone in five seconds," one of the researchers mentions as an example. As icing on the cake, the technology should also be backwards-compatible with existing Wi-Fi standards. (Thanks to Engadget for the tip.)

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