Newly Developed 'Laser Radio' Will Open the Doors to Ultra Fast Wifi

How amazing would it be to game on Wi-Fi that is hundreds of times faster than what you are using right now?

Somedays Wi-Fi is just not working. Perhaps you are streaming the next episode of Game of Thrones or simply need it to complete your final school project before the summer, but are dealing with frustratingly slow Wi-Fi. 

Though there are methods out there available, some of the latest advancements in semiconductor lasers could change that, bringing forth the era of ultra-high-speed Wi-fi. No more lag! 

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Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at the Harvard John. A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the team showcased a laser that can emit microwaves wirelessly, modulate them, and receive external frequency signals. 

Laser Radio Waves

In short, the team of Harvard researchers developed a method to wirelessly transmit radio frequency via a semiconductor laser. Traditional lasers can only emit a single frequency of light. However, these lasers can emit microwaves. As you are probably well aware, a Wi-Fi network makes use of radio waves to transmit information quickly across a network.  

However, with lasers that speed is drastically increased and it has researchers excited.

As mentioned by Federico Capasso, the Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering and senior author of the study, “The research opens the door to new types of hybrid electronic-photonic devices and is the first step toward ultra-high-speed Wi-Fi."

The developments made by researchers today were built off previous work from Capasso Lab at Harvard. Two years ago Harvard researchers discovered that it is, in fact, possible to use an infrared frequency comb in lasers to generate terahertz wavelengths capable of moving data at speeds hundreds of times faster than some of your favorite internet providers today. 

So what did researchers transmit on their newly improved frequency comb? Harvard researchers sent the classic Dean Martin, Volare. These frequency combs emit multiple frequencies simultaneously. 

As stated by Piccardo, “This all-in-one, integrated device, holds great promise for wireless communication. While the dream of terahertz wireless communication is still a ways away, this research provides a clear roadmap showing how to get there.”

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