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28 January 2015

EC awards €4m for project iBROW to develop innovative broadband wireless communications

The project 'Innovative ultra-BROadband ubiquitous Wireless communications through terahertz transceivers' (iBROW), which is being led by The University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK, has received €4m (¬£3.1m) in support from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 initiative (the largest-ever EU Research and Innovation program, which will allocate nearly €80bn of funding between 2014 and 2020).

iBROW brings together universities and private-sector companies from the UK, France, Germany and Portugal to explore the potential of resonant tunneling diode (RTD) technology to create ultra-broadband wireless communications.

Demand for broadband content and services has been growing at tremendous rates, and high-speed fibre-optic broadband is becoming increasingly common, but wireless technology is lagging behind the increasing capacity of broadband communications. Experts expect that by 2020 wireless data rates of tens of gigabits per second (Gbps) will be required, which is not possible using the frequency spectrum of existing wireless systems. Without new forms of wireless data transfer operating at frequencies above 60GHz (and up to 1THz) there could be a significant bottleneck in the rates of delivery available to wireless devices, it is reckoned.

"We'll be working with our partners over the next three years to develop new forms of wireless communication which use resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs)," says Dr Edward Wasige, senior lecturer in Electronic and Nanoscale Engineering at the University of Glasgow. "RTDs are pure solid-state electronic devices operating at room temperature with reported working frequencies exceeding 1THz. They have the potential to create wireless broadband systems at frequencies where other electronic semiconductor devices cannot be used, and could allow wireless data transfer rates of up to 100Gbps in the long term," he adds.

"We'll be working to increase RTD output power and optical detection efficiency with reduced energy consumption, through development of a low-cost and energy-efficient unified technology which can be integrated into wireless devices such as tablets and mobile phones as well as the base stations these devices communicate with."

In addition to the University of Glasgow's School of Engineering, the University of the Algarve and INESC Porto in Portugal and the Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany will also contribute to the project.
Vivid Components Ltd will handle management of iBROW, Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland AG will be responsible for end-users and Optocap Ltd will manage packaging of the device. Also involved in the project are IQE Silicon Compounds Ltd, III-V Lab, Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd, and the Commissariat a L'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives.

Tags: Terahertz

Visit: www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering

Visit: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020

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