Scientists develop new Wi-Fi system to offer super-fast connectivity

Scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology in Netherlands have developed a new wireless Internet network based on infrared rays that is reportedly 100 times faster than existing Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) networks.

It has a huge capacity, more than 40 Gigabits per second (Gbit/s). It also does away with the need of sharing Wi-Fi, as every device gets its own ray of light.

How it works?
  • The wireless data in this network comes from a few central ‘light antennas’, that are able to precisely direct the rays of light supplied by an optical fibre.
  • These antennas contain a pair of gratings that radiate light rays of different wavelengths at different angles (passive diffraction gratings).
  • If a user is walking and his smartphone or tablet is moving out of the light antenna’s direction, then another light antenna takes over.
  • In this system, changing the light wavelengths also changes the direction of the ray of light. It uses safe infrared wavelength that does not reach the retina in the eye.
Key Features of the new system
  • The network tracks the precise location of every wireless device using its radio signal transmitted in the return direction.
  • Different devices are assigned different wavelengths by the same light antenna and so do not have to share capacity.
  • It uses infrared light with wavelengths of 1,500 nanometres and higher. Current, Wi-Fi uses radio signals with a frequency of 2.5 or five gigahertz.
  • On this network, researchers have managed to achieve a speed of 42.8 Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 metres.
  • It is hundred times fast than best Wi-Fi systems currently available that can provide users maximum 300 mbps speed.
  • The new system so far has used the light rays only to download. Uploads are still done using radio signals since in most applications much less capacity is needed for uploading.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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