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The project that tested a 10 times faster wireless speed has come to an end

Three years later, the European project iBROW, which had the participation of INESC TEC's Centre for Telecommunications and Multimedia (CTM), has ended.

27th July 2018

With the collaboration of 11 international partners and EUR 4 million funded by the European Commission, transmission speeds that achieved 10 Gbps (when the normal is 1 Gbps) were demonstrated for the first time at a global level. All thanks to some devices called resonant tunneling diode (RTDs), which are a new wireless transceiver technologies that resembles small, low-cost and energy-efficient chips that allow the ultra fast data transmission integrated with the optical fibre network.

This revolution in terms of content sharing speed intends to meet the needs of the telecommunication area for the next years. It is expected that by 2020, the demand for broadband content and services has grown in such a way that the need for data-rates of multiple Gbps for short-range communications is a reality.

The biggest differentiation factor of the demonstrations that were conducted under the European project iBROW (Innovative ultra-BROadband ubiquitous Wireless communications through terahertz transceivers) was the use of RTD as interface between the optical fibre domain and the wireless communications domain.

The RTDs were tested with a 300 GHz and 100 GHz (the normal values in wi-fi range from 2.4 or 5 GHz) frequency of operation in the labs of the University of Glasgow and at INESC TEC’s Optical and Electronic Technologies Research Laboratory, respectively. An industrialisation process of the technology is what's missing in order the produced RTDs to be placed on the market. The video with a demonstration conducted at the INESC TEC’s lab may be found here:

“In the near future, in five to ten years, it will be possible to put microchips in devices such as mobile phones. The conditions for its manufacture were created in this research and development project, but universities and research institutes don’t have the capacity to manufacture these integrated circuits in series, this step has to be done by the industry", explains Luís Pessoa, CTM researcher.

Project iBROW was coordinated by the University of Glasgow and had two Portuguese partners, INESC TEC and the University of Algarve; four more institutions from the United Kingdom, besides the coordinator, Vivid Components, IQE Silicon Compounds, Compound Semiconductor technologies global limited and Optocap; two German entities, Nokia Solutions and Networks and the Braunschweig.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.