Think your Wi-Fi connection is fast? Think again, because scientists have worked on a way to transmit data wirelessly at a scorching 2.5 terabits of information per second.
That's 8,000 times faster than Verizon's fastest wired home internet connection, FiOS, which manages 300Mbps. It's fast, but to put the speed in context, it's almost as fast as transmitting seven full Blu-Ray movies per second. Holy crap!
The team of American and Israeli researchers used a new concept where the electromagnetic waves that usually carry data are twisted into vortex beams. ExtremeTech describes the concept well:
These twisted signals use orbital angular momentum (OAM) to cram much more data into a single stream. In current state-of-the-art transmission protocols (WiFi, LTE, COFDM), we only modulate the spin angular momentum (SAM) of radio waves, not the OAM. If you picture the Earth, SAM is our planet spinning on its axis, while OAM is our movement around the Sun. Basically, the breakthrough here is that researchers have created a wireless network protocol that uses both OAM and SAM.
The researchers from the University of Souther California, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Tel Aviv university have twisted together eight data streams each operating at 300 Gbps. That achieved a record breaking 2.5 terabits per second. They've only managed to transmit as far as 1 meter but it won't be long before we see this mainstream, maybe in a couple of years. Or shorter.
The technique can be used to twist together a lot of slower data connections. They published their findings in Nature and explained that in theory it would be possible to twist together hudnreds or even thousands of conventional LTE signals into a single beam. There goes the bandwidth crisis! [Nature via ExtremeTech]