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Doubling the speed of cellphone data with a simple full duplex circuit: could supercharge wireless data transfer

November 28th, 2014 |  Published in Digital and Mobile Technology, Telecom and broadband

supercharge wireless data transfer

 

28 November 2014 – A circuit that lets a radio send and receive data simultaneously over the same frequency could supercharge wireless data transfer. The circuit makes it possible for a radio to send and receive signals on the same channel simultaneously – something known as “full-duplex” communications. That should translate to a doubling of the rate at which information can be moved around wirelessly.

Today’s radios must send and receive at different times to avoid drowning out incoming signals with their own transmissions. As a smartphone accesses the Internet via a cell tower, for example, its radio flips back and forth between sending and receiving, similar way to the way two people having a conversation take turns to speak and listen.

The new circuit design avoids magnets, and uses only conventional circuit components. It’s very cheap, compact, and light. It’s ideal for a cell phone. The two-centimeter-wide device could easily be miniaturized and added to existing devices with little modification to the design.

The circulator design looks, and functions, like a traffic circle with three “roads,” in the form of wires, leading into it. Signals can travel into, or out of, the circle via any of those wires. But components called resonators spaced around that circle force signals to travel around it only in a clockwise direction.

The circulator can easily be adjusted to work at a wide range of frequencies, and that he is exploring options for commercializing the design. The circuit could, for instance, help simplify and improve technology being tested by some U.S. and European cellular carriers that uses a combination of software and hardware to allow full-duplex radio links.

When a wireless device’s antenna is connected to one of the wires leading into the circle, it isolates signals that have just been received from those the device has generated for transmission itself.

The new design is described in a paper in the journal Nature Physics. One cellular analyst said this is definitely a significant research development and a very new way to look at a very old problem. But work remains to be done to convert the lab-bench breakthrough into something practical for the crucial frequency bands used for Wi-Fi, cellular, and other communications.

Gregory P. Bufithis, Esq.
Founder/Managing Director

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