Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have achieved 3Gbps transfers over a 542GHz wireless connection, which falls into the 300GHz-3THz band that's classed as terahertz spectrum. This doubles the previous record held by chipmaker Rohm, set back in November, which managed 1.5Gbps transfers on a 300GHz connection. As with that record, these impressive speeds come at a price — the connection will only work over a range of about 10 meters (just over 30 feet) before it becomes affected by interference. However, this massive short-range bandwidth could be perfect for transmitting media from your AV rack to your TV, or for super-fast Wi-Fi Direct transfers.
The enormous speeds were gained through the use of a resonant tunneling diode, or RTD. This component acts as an oscillator, transmitting electro-magnetic signals at very high frequencies as it vibrates. The RTD was developed especially for the project, and replaces other far more complex systems like quantum cascade lasers.
It's clear that terahertz transfers are the next big thing in wireless communication, with AT&T even holding a conference in December that dubbed the band "the next frontier for radio." The interest in terahertz communication is so widespread not only because of its speed, but because it's unregulated around the world, meaning that the white space is widely available. The project's leader, Dr Safumi Suzuki, says he believes that "everybody will use products related to THz technology within the next decade”.