Australian 'GiFi' chip promises wireless 5Gbps

Australian researchers from National ICT Australia (NICTA) have developed a lower power, short range chip for wireless communications that can achieve up to 5Gbps--allowing them to transfer a complete DVD in a matter of seconds.

Australian researchers from National ICT Australia (NICTA) have developed a lower power, short-range chip for wireless communications that can achieve up to 5Gbps--allowing them to transfer a complete DVD in a matter of seconds.

In March last year, NICTA researcher Tim Walsh told ZDNet Asia sister site ZDNet Australia NICTA was aiming for speeds five times faster than today's fastest wireless standards. However, the researchers have achieved speeds closer to 10 times faster.

This would allow the wireless transfer of the entire contents of a DVD in less than five seconds at a maximum distance of 10 meters. Such speeds would also allow seamless wireless communication between device such as computers, monitors and hard drives, Walsh added.

NICTA project leader Professor Stan Skafidas suggested another possibility for the chip, dubbed GiFi: "[DVD] kiosks that you walk up to and when you are near it you could download a movie in a few seconds and watch it on your video iPod or put the device near your plasma TV and beam the signal," he said in a statement.

The NICTA wireless transceiver achieves its high speeds by taking advantage of the unlicensed, higher frequency end of the wireless radio spectrum: from 57 to 64GHz. This millimeter-sized part of the spectrum is less crowded than the 2.4 to 5GHz part of the spectrum used by regular wireless devices.

The five by five millimeter chip is based on the CMOS (complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) process, which is the current process for creating massive volumes of cheap silicon transistor devices.

"We are targeting low cost technologies; we are looking at AU$10 (US$9.21) for a complete product," Walsh said last year.

NICTA claims the CMOS chip is 10 times cheaper to produce then comparable wireless technologies.

The chip was developed by the Victoria Research Laboratory in Melbourne and NICTA's Australian Technology Park Lab in Sydney. International research giants including IBM, Princeton University, and Georgia Institute of Technology also collaborated in the project.

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