Posting in Energy
Digital communication could get much faster. This means you could soon watch full-length, high-definition, 3-D movies on your cell phone.
Scientists developed a graphene modulator that could increase the speed of digital communication and change the way we watch TV on our phones. If the graphene-based technology is used in consumer electronics, it means 3-D movies like Avatar would stream straight to your smartphone instantly.
The researchers at University of California, Berkeley built a tiny optical device that uses graphene to switch light on and off. The switch controls the speed of data transmission: The faster the pulses of light, the faster the data is sent out. So far, the researchers report speeds of 1 gigahertz, but think it's possible for the modulator to go as high as 500 gigahertz.
“Graphene enables us to make modulators that are incredibly compact and that potentially perform at speeds up to ten times faster than current technology allows. This new technology will significantly enhance our capabilities in ultrafast optical communication and computing," Xiang Zhang, engineering professor at UC Berkeley, said in a statement.
Graphene has been touted as sort of a miracle material. It's strong, extremely conductive and flexible - a perfect alternative to silicon. It was discovered from graphite (the same material in pencil lead) in 2004. According to the scientists, one graphite in a pencil could generate enough graphene to make 1 billion optical modulators.
Basically by using smaller modulators, optical cables could shrink so they can hold more charge, so they can transmit data faster.
The researchers expect to see the modulators hit the market in a couple of years. Besides helping us watch our favorite movies faster, the tiny graphene-based modulators could help increase the speed of transmission of data in fields such as bioinformatics and weather forecasting.
Graphene optical modulators could lead to ultrafast communications [University of California, Berkeley]
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May 9, 2011
This system won't benefit phones much. They are already squeezed into the available radio bandwidth. The pipe is full. Where these will help is in inter-chip connections and fiber optics to the home. It is a great advance, but it isn't the advance the Author believes. Sorry, Physics still rules.
hmm why is it that every single smartplanet thread has these tribal Neanderthals that totally miss the actual key words in the story and nitpick the one key word they think they understand, "phone" in this case ! and ignoring Boonsri's obsession with "phones" or "quantum" computers, and the single ether/or US type mentality so prevalent in both big business and smartplanet type writers the world over today OC, its nothing to do with putting this on the phone , the point is "This new technology will significantly enhance our capabilities in ultrafast optical communication and computing" as in it gets smaller and faster and so cheaper, so you can take this power you have today in the desktop and put it in the same space as a phone or a calculator or a packet of cig's etc would take up today. just like the old super computers of old are now in the desktop and smaller space today. cheaper means more for less cost, and so more people will find new uses for this powerful device the size of a phone etc ,and now its mobile as well so being yet another option after being able to fit more units on your desk and yet still take less power than you use and pay for today with your desktop PC. if you cant see the obvious benefits if it should eventually appear in mass retail then why are you paying for that expensive broadband cable and kit today, when you could still be using dialup web and your commodore 64 to read smartplanet
The trouble with movies on a phone is: I have no desire or reason to watch a movie on such a tiny little screen. -- I bought a big HDTV for that.
If you want to watch a movie on your mobile phone to begin with. Whatever happened to those VR goggles? Or maybe roll-up screens will be affordable. And this will be the speed of hard-wired connections, not mobile ones. But it sure looks like Blu Ray is going to have a short life.
Maybe not so daft if the cell phone contains a projector or docks to a larger screen. As other pieces of the cell phone become more powerful, they're going to be the true personal computers that we carry everywhere and plug into a workstation port for serious work/play. The Motorola Atrix would be a very primitive example of this.