Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cheap Chips

There is enough bandwidth above and around 60GHz to join a DVD and HD TV wirelessly and expect 2 gig-per-second transmission of data.
The problem is not that these frequencies are not utilized yet, in fact Mercedez-Benz uses 77-GHz bandwidth in its adaptive cruise control. The suggested manufacturer price for the 2007 Merecedez, S550 is only 85400 USD!

To take advantage of this frequency bandwidth in wireless consumer electronics cheap transceivers are needed.
IBM engineers revealed the first experimental 60-GHz transmitter and receiver this month. They have utilized an alloy of germanium and silicon. The working model is able to transmit and receive 630 megabits per second over a distance of 10 meters.
Concurrently, a group of researchers at University of California, L.A. are taking a different approach. They are taking advantage of the widespread CMOS technology.
CMOS technology is so common that there is no doubt that the chips that result will be cheap. Integration of many devices with CMOS technology is very easy. The drawback is inability to predict how transistors and everything else will behave at that frequency.
With the advent of R&D in this area there is hope that we can rid our lives from clutter and displeasure of looking at the farm of wires around the house. However, we shall await for when this technology is “mature and inexpensive”.