CMOS radio chip reaches 5Gbps, Aussie researchers say

Less costly wireless network products could result

Australian researchers announced this week that they have created a 60GHz, CMOS single-chip radio that can transmit 5 gigabits per second over about 30 feet.

Others have created gigabit-wireless radios, also using millimeter wave technology. But the new radio, according to its creators, is the first to do so in one, low-cost CMOS chip. That's significant because it promises, eventually, much lower costs for the chip itself and for embedding the chip into a range of wireless products compared to other semiconductor technologies.

Several news sources are reporting that the researchers, part of National ICT Australia (NICTA), say the chip is about $9 (U.S.) or less, although that claim is not in the NICTA press release.

Gigabit Ethernet radios exist today, from companies such as BridgeWave Communications, but are used mainly in longer-range, point-to-point connections, often as alternatives to leased T-3 lines. Applying millimeter-wave technology to wireless LANs is drawing the interest of big companies and start-ups such as NewLANS, named as one of Network World's Wireless Companies to Watch. And another Australian research group, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is working on 10Gbps in the 80GHz band.

But the NICTA chip's bandwidth is dramatic, bettering by 25 per cent the performance of the WirelessHD (WiHD) specification, which was launched officially at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year after its first announcement in late 2006. Backed by a group of well-known chipmakers and consumer electronics vendors, WiHD is a digital interface that runs in the 60GHz band, delivers 4Gbps, a range of about 30 feet, and secure content protection. At CES, Panasonic and SiBeam showed the WiHD link streaming uncompressed high-definition video between a TV screen and a Blu-ray disk player.

That's the kind of "in-room", short-range application targeted by NICTA's gigabit wireless research. The organization reportedly plans to spin off the research, raise funding and create a commercial version of the chip.

According to one report that will take about US$10 million, about one year to create production samples, and three years to produce in volume, a claim that some Web pundits such as Joel Hruska at Arstechnica find wildly optimistic. Hruska also points out that the NICTA chip draws 2 watts of power, a demand that makes it unfeasible for battery-powered handhelds.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?