Wireless & Internet Tech

EC Proposes Radio Spectrum Sharing

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The European Commission (EC) pushes for "more dynamic sharing" of licensed and unlicensed frequencies in the radio spectrum-- a proposal potentially bringing more capacity to wifi and other wireless technologies.

EU Parliament"Meeting the growing spectrum needs resulting from the exponential growth in wireless data traffic and the increasing importance of wireless connectivity in the economy is limited by the absence of vacant spectrum," the EC proposal says.

Wifi devices operate within the unlicensed 2.4GHz (802.11 b/g) and 5GHz (802.11a, 802.11n) space, which will get more capacity should the proposal be successful. Frequences in use by short range devices (such as 863-870MHz) might also be expanded.

The EC demands national EU regulators to encourage spectrum sharing, all while offering "guaranteed rights" and "investment incentives" to providers and incumbents sharing licensed frequencies.

The initiative kicks off once it goes through the European Council and Parliament, meaning it still has a long way to go-- but it should be an important step towards more harmony within European radio spectrum.

Go Digital Agenda: Maximising Radio Spectrum Efficiency by Sharing it

Broadcom Intros Mobile 802.11ac Chip

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Broadcom announces the BCM4335-- the "first complete 5G wifi combo chip" for mobile applications, combining 802.11ac wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio on the same silicon die.

BroadcomAccording to the company the chip handles speeds x3 faster than existing wifi radios (reaching up to 433Mbps) with x6 more power efficiency than current 802.11n solutions.

Being platform-agnostic, vendors can add the chip to any smartphone, tablet or ultrabook.

The BCM4335 should be available from Q1 2013 once it exists "full sample phase."

Go Broadcom Introduces 5G Wifi Combo Chip for Smartphones and Tablets

An Cloud-Based Imp in the Internet of Things

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Electric Imp has a simple proposal to bring about the so-called "internet of things"-- connecting almost any device to the internet with the addition of a simple card in a slot.

Created by ex-Apple and Google engineers, the Electric Imp card looks very similar to standard SD cards. It carries a wifi 802.11b/g/n radio, a Cortex M3-based processor and software-controllable I/O pins.

Once the user installs the Imp card into a device (be it a coffee machine, a washing machine or a lighting system) using an Electric Imp circuit board-- the company is also in talks with OEMs to get slots pre-installed into products--  the card connects to the internet, allowing users to control the device remotely via Electric Imp's online cloud and simple web-based software.

The "internet of things," in other words.

Currently the Electric Imp card exists as a developer preview, which company will start shipping from June 2012 for $25. It is also in talks with vendors, who will release compatible devices later this year.

Go Electric Imp

CEDIA on Mobile-Friendly Networks

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CEDIA releases the 2nd white paper on the integration of mobile devices in residential systems-- Ten Steps to Creating a Robust Wireless Environment for Mobile Device Integration.

CEDIAAs customers depend more on IP networks and mobile device numbers grow, modern homes need increasing amounts of wireless bandwidth in order to keep all devices working and communicating at all times.

Thus the white paper provides installers with a 10-step roadmap to creating a profitable and repeatable wifi solution.

The paper combines with the advanced IP and networking courses the association offers at CEDIA EXPO, and is available from the CEDIA marketplace.

Go CEDIA Releases Ten Steps to Creating a Robust Wireless Environment for Mobile Device Integration

Wifi Hits "T-Ray" Milestone

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Japanese researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology smash the record for wireless data transmission over the "T-ray" band, achieving 3Gbps transfer over a 542GHz wireless connection.

TRay WifiThe data rate achieved is double the previous record from chip maker Rohm of 1.5Gbps transfers using a 300GHz connection. Such connections falls into the 300GHz-3THz band, known as the terahertz spectrum or simply "T-rays."

300GHz is 60x higher than the highest current wifi standard.

Tetraherz wifi has range limitations (around 10m) but supports data rates of up to 100Gb/s, nearly x15 higher than the next generation of 802.11ac wifi.

The Japanese researchers achieve such wifi speeds using a resonant tunneling diode (RTD), a 1mm-square device that "resonates" and transmits electro-magnetic signals at very high frequencies. Previous T-ray experiments required bulky, costly and power-hungry equipment with science fiction-esque names like "quantum cascade lasers."

Project leader Dr. Safumi Suzuki is confident tetraherz communications are ripe for consumerisation-- he believes "everybody will use products related to THz technology within the next decade."

Go Intense Resonance Paper (IET Electronics Letters)

Go Milestone for Wifi with T-Rays (BBC)