Researchers at Georgia Tech’s broadband wireless networking lab have created a schematic of a antenna made of graphene that could allow ultrafast data transfer between devices at short ranges. For example, at a range of one meter, a smartphone or similar wi-fi-enabled device could receive a terabit’s worth of data in about one second — the equivalent of 10 high-definition movies — and up to 100 terabits per second may be possible at even shorter distances. Later this year, a paper describing the design will appear in the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communication.
What’s the Big Idea?
Although other studies have been done on graphene’s remarkable electronic capabilities, the Georgia Tech research is the first to calculate configurations for a wireless antenna. Strips of the material would be very narrow — up to 100 nanometers wide and just one micrometer long — which would allow it to be built on a much smaller scale. One challenge facing the team involves making similarly small and fast electronic components to work with the antenna. For now, they are focusing on completing a prototype within a year.