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Europe Testing 12.5 Gbps Wireless

European researchers are working on technology that will enable wireless data transfers of up to 12.5 Gbps

Hey Mr. Coyote, you can forget about that stupid bird because, according to Science Daily, European researchers (IPHOBAC) have cooked up something even faster, sporting speeds over a wireless connection of up to 12.5 GB/sec. Of course, there are no feathers attached, but the speed is attractive nonetheless if not financially deadly for consumers trapped in the bandwidth cap ball-and-chain. However, the new "mm-wave" (mm for millimeter) isn't aimed at just internet access in the coffee shop and in-home networks. In fact, the researchers behind the new technology want to see it utilized in radio astronomy, radar, instrumentation, and other useful fields.

But hey, a 12.5 GB/sec. connection is fast. However it seems that the average citizen won't see the benefits from the new mm-wave technology for another few years. Made possible by combining "the latest radio and optics technologies," the mm-wave band uses the 30 to 300 GHz radio spectrum, widely undeveloped until now, consisting of a wavelength from one to ten millimeters. What makes the mm-wave stand out against technologies developed in Japan and over here in the States is that IPHOBAC actually created a component capable of the super-quick continuous transmission. In fact, the component supposedly transmits not only through the entire mm-wave band, but slips into unknown territory, going up into the 325 GHz range. Hopefully, it won't rip a whole in the Space-Time Continuum and set free Imps and Cyberdemons (yes, someone is in the mood to play DooM).

"The operational frequency range of several potential applications, which include fixed services, broadband wireless access, short range nomadic services, indoor communication, radar and security as well as instrumentation applications is already in the millimeter-wave region or is expected to be extended into the millimeter-wave region within the next 5-10 years," explains the research group. "IPHOBAC will develop a new photonic based mature transmitter and receiver technology to support those applications." Apparently, the group already created other components including 300 GHz dual-mode lasers, 110 GHz photo-detectors and more.

Additionally, one example Science Daily offered in its report was the 60 GHz Photonic Wireless System, last demonstrated at ICT 2008. This system allows the transmission of full high definition, uncompressed video between devices, whether it's a TV, PC, mobile device or a set-top box. The system is also capable of multi-camera coverage, transmitting the high definition video uncompressed, handy for security situations and film/TV directors.

“There is no time to compress the signal as the director needs to see live feed from every camera to decide which picture to use, and ours is the only technology which can deliver fast enough data rates to transmit uncompressed HD video/audio signals,” said project coordinator Andreas Stöhr.

Ultimately, consumers will benefit from the technology in a few years. As it stands, the mm-wave technology will zoom 1500 times the speed of the upcoming 4G mobile networks, and will be extremely useful in areas where 10 GB/s fiber optic cable can't reach. The project is even developing systems for applications used in space -namely for the European Space Agency- operating in the 100 GHz band. Although the group could not provide details regarding its space program, it admitted that other large companies are in talks with the group, including Siemens, Ericsson and more.

There's no doubt that technology is progressing at an amazing rate despite current economic conditions. As circuitry real estate drops by the nanometer, rechargeable batteries take on a quicker charge and wireless communication streams HD in real time, consumers will be engulfed by a digital age that leaves them forgetting the days of 56k modem access and cell phones that were bigger than their head. The Digital Age is grand, and it's just really getting started, isn't it?