Wireless data transfer speeds in excess of 1Gbps now seem positively slow compared to Sony's recent achievement of 11Gbps transfer speed, even if the distance is quite, erm, short, at just 14mm. So before you go getting excited about a home network with blistering speeds you should know the technology is actually intended for high speed wireless data transfer inside electronic products to replace complicated wires and internal circuitry.
The advancing functionality of today’s electronics means ever-increasing quantities of internal data being transferred around inside devices. Once wired connections approach the limit of their data capacity, additional circuitry is required to accommodate the extra data. However, this leads to increasingly complicated integrated circuit (IC) packages, more intricately printed circuit boards, and larger IC sizes.
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By replacing physical circuitry in electronics products with high-speed wireless connections, this new data transfer technology reduces the number of wired connections and minimizes IC use, to simplify the IC package and printed circuit board.
Sony’s new wireless intra-connection system is based on millimeter-wave wireless data transfer technology – which refers to electromagnetic waves with a frequency of 30GHz to 300GHz, and wavelength between 1mm to 10mm. With their high frequency, millimeter-waves are suited to ultra high-speed data transfer, while a further advantage is their ability to transfer data using only very small antennas - meaning they can be built into a single chip at very low cost.
To realize high-speed wireless data transfer Sony integrated highly energy efficient millimeter-wave circuits on 40nm-CMOS-LSIs with an active footprint of just 0.13mm2 including both the transmitter and receiver. Over a distance of 14mm using antennas approximately 1mm in size and with power consumption of 70mW Sony was able to achieve data transfer speeds of 11Gbps. Sony says that it is possible to extend the distance to around 50mm using high directivity antennas.
Sony will present the technology at the International Soild State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) 2010, which is currently running in San Francisco. It will proceed with efforts to adopt the technology in a range of electronics products, such as television sets.