A new technology being discovered at Brown University and can revolutionize the way data is transferred, sending data way faster. How fast? 100 times faster than any of today’s networks, using terahertz radiation to achieve this amazing standard.
Although this technology sounds amazing, there are problems and challenges, like any project, and like some other products they spark a new idea from the challenges they faced. In comes the development of what they say is the first of its kind, the first system capable of running multiplexing terahertz waves called the “multiplexer”.
The concept of the multiplexer is a device that allows multiple streams of data to travel through a single medium. A single cable would be able to be the medium for many TV shows and a fiber optic line that can host thousands of calls.
Daniel professor of engineering at brown university while not only a professor he is also the senior author of a paper published in Nature Photonics on September 14, that reads; "Any terahertz communications application is going to need some form of multiplexing and demultiplexing," and also acknowledges the forefront they now stand on saying. "This is, to our knowledge, the first time anyone has demonstrated a viable strategy for multiplexing in the terahertz range."
The advantage of using terahertz is the ability of having a high frequency which in turn allows the potential for more bandwidth. This would kick what we use today to transmit voice conversations and data (microwaves) to the curb. This would meet the demand for a better, quicker, more efficient data transfer.
The multiplexer that the team at Brown University, led by Mittleman, is working on is called a “Leaky Wave Antenna. It is built with two metal plates placed parallel to each other, one of the metal plates having a small incision. The terahertz frequency travels down between the plates and radiation leaks out the slit of the plates in different angels. His is better said by Mittleman himself stating;
"That means if you put in 10 different frequencies between the plates—each of them potentially carrying a unique data stream—they'll come out at 10 different angles," also stated; "Now you've separated them and that's demultiplexing."
This would allow the receiver to be focused on a different angle, choosing which stream the user would like to stream from,
"We think it's definitely a reasonable solution to meet the needs of a terahertz communication network," said Nicholas Karl, also a graduate student at Brown and the paper's lead author. According to report on Phys.org “Karl led the experiments on the device with fellow graduate student Robert McKinney. Other authors on the study are Rajind Mendis, a research professor at Brown, and Yasuaki Monnai from Keio University in Tokyo.”
Apparently the distance between plates can adjust the spectrum of the bandwidth. This can come in handy when it comes to data networking.
Mittleman also said "For example, if one user suddenly needs a ton of bandwidth, you can take it from others on the network who don't need as much just by changing the plate spacing at the right location,"
The device will continue to progress with help of a research group from Osaka University. They are building a prototype for the terahertz network and hope to see good results.
Karl said. "This is a first-generation, proof-of-concept device," also said "There are still things we can do to improve it and we'll continue to study it."
Mittleman also sees this as an opportunity to inspire other researchers and scientist to help the project itself due to it publicity in the data world, and hopes to see other developments and devices.
He says "The biggest impact this may have is it may just be the kick that people need to start thinking about this issue,”. Also said, "That means they'll start coming up with clever ideas that are entirely different from this one."