Saturday, February 23, 2008

Short Range Proximity Communications Breakthrough

GiFi (60GHz "millimetre wave" spectrum wireless communications) may have a function effect on all consumer and appliance electronics. Image Credit:

Short Range Proximity Communications Breakthrough

Short-range wireless technology is a hotly contested area for technology development. Many research teams around the world are racing to be the first to make and have embedded into small display devices, proximity technology that would deliver the capability to transfer a high volume of data at high-speed.

The assumption is that every display device (TV, cellphone, PDA, computer, portable game handset) would benefit from having the ability to be within 30 to 40 feet from a transmission source and be able to display high quality video images.

Applications range from having an information kiosk right in ones hand to high density/high speed data transfers from handset to computer or computer to TV and any combination therein.

Japan's NEC Corp unveiled a prototype cellphone handset capable of receiving digital broadcasting signals, enabling users to not only make calls and take photos, but to watch TV. Image Credit:

Examples: One goes to a movie retailer, and 1) samples a movie from a kiosk via the cellphone display, decides to 2) purchase the movie for viewing later on ones home entertainment system – on the way home, one walks up to a transit terminal and 3) finds the best bus route to make it back home and 4) purchases the fare. At home, the movie is 5) transmitted and transferred to the computer or the home entertainment system for viewing.

This string of functionality can be made possible without a camera/scanner and is compatible to be embedded via a small computer chip that can be placed on circuit boards of any consumer appliance or device which would make them “GiFi” capable (60GHz "millimetre wave" spectrum wireless communications). Wireless, high speed, anywhere, anytime, any device, within 30 to 40 feet proximity … and nearly free – now that is a revolution in short range communicative power.

GiFi chips are smaller and more powerful than Bluetooth. GPS Chips -The smallest chip is the newest GPS chip from SiRF, the middle one includes a Bluetooth connection (for a wireless connection with other devices that can use GPS coordinates), the top one is last year’s GPS chip. Image Credit: Tarmo Virki

This excerpted from Fairfax Digital’s, The Age -

$10 chip puts Australia on the fast track
Nick Miller - The Age - February 22, 2008 - 1:18PM

A new silicon chip developed in Melbourne is predicted to revolutionise the way household gadgets like televisions, phones and DVD players talk to each other.

The tiny five-millimetre-a-side chip can transmit data through a wireless connection at a breakthrough five gigabits per second over distances of up to 10 metres.
The "GiFi" was unveiled today at the Melbourne University-based laboratories of NICTA, the national information and communications technology research centre.

Professor Stan Skafidis of Melbourne University. Image Credit: Neil Newitt

"I believe in the longer term every consumer device will have this technology," said project leader, Professor Stan Skafidas, who with his team spent almost a decade developing the chip.
Professor Skafidas said his team is the first to demonstrate a working transceiver-on-a-chip that uses CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology - the cheap, ubiquitous technique that prints silicon chips.

This means his team is head and shoulders in front of the competition in terms of price and power demand. His chip uses only a tiny one-millimetre-wide antenna and less than two watts of power, and would cost less than $10 to manufacture.

It uses the 60GHz "millimetre wave" spectrum to transmit the data, which gives it an advantage over WiFi (wireless internet). WiFi's part of the spectrum is increasingly crowded, sharing the waves with devices such as cordless phones, which leads to interference and slower speeds.

But the millimetre wave spectrum (30 to 300 GHz) is almost unoccupied, and the new chip is potentially hundreds of times faster than the average home WiFi unit. However, WiFi still benefits from being able to provide wireless coverage over a greater distance.
For Professor Skafidas, the chip is several breakthroughs in one. It includes a world-first power amplifier that is only a few microns wide, with a micron being one 300th the width of a human hair.

It also has world's first signal mixing and filter technology, and a switch that isolates the transmitter and receiver so they do not interfere with each other.
There is about another year's worth of work on the chip before it is ready to be marketed to the public, he said, and the team still needs to develop technology that injects data into the transceiver.

Professor Skafidas said he sees several ways the technology could be put to use.
It could be used to transfer data-rich content such as video around the home between different storage and display devices, and it could help turn a mobile device into a "shopping cart" for data.

A mobile device could also become a fully-fledged computer through the GiFi, simply by placing it near similarly-equipped peripherals such as a screen, extra storage, optical drives, a keyboard and mouse.
Reference Here>>

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