Scientists have created a chip capable of transmitting data at 11 Gb/s (Gigabits per second) speed. The result may be useful for the implementation of 6G in the coming years. The component leaves the most upbeat expectations of 10 Gb/s for the future of 5G behind and even accesses frequencies in the THz (terahertz) range. The technology offers speeds that translate into 1.3 GB/s (gigabyte per second). The study was conducted by researchers from Nanyang Technology University (NTU, Singapore) and Osaka University, Japan.

The chip created by the researchers can reach high speeds because it transmits radio waves at frequencies in the terahertz range. Hertz is a unit of frequency and counts cycles per second: a 1 THz signal will have a trillion cycles within one second – each carrying information. As the frequency increases, so does the amount of data that can be sent and received within one second.

The use of high frequencies in wireless communication systems is a high research challenge and Asian technicians have found a way around the obstacles involved in transmitting so much data per second. Among these challenges, there are problems of the inconsistency of the transmitted information, as well as problems of signal propagation.

The solution found applies optical concepts to create a medium in which the signal is isolated and travels through surfaces, instead of traveling through connectors inside the chip, something that would leave the transmission subject to material imperfections. The technique, called Photonic Topological Insulators (PTI), creates a path for the signal to travel through the component, thus avoiding data inconsistency.

The speed of 11 Gb/s leaves well behind the fastest 5G networks in the world that today reach around 0.8 Gb/s. However, it is still early to know what the 6G implementation process will be like. Estimates indicate that the technology involving the sixth generation of mobile networks should only begin to reach the market in 2030.

As there is still no technical roadmap for 6G at the moment, it has even more promising horizons in terms of speed. Samsung, for example, studies a 6G with speeds of 1,000 Gb/s, 50 times greater than 5G.

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