Forget GHz and Think THz for Wireless Chips

Scientists at the University of Utah have developed a path to terahertz chips by figuring out how to transfer terahertz signals using wires. If commercialized, such a breakthough means faster chips and the potential for much faster wireless file transfer. Think wireless HD transfer in a few seconds rather than the 60 seconds anticipated when using 60 GHz.

Reading about this effort, however, left me with a feeling of déjà vu, as recently defunct chip company Phiar was able to achieve speeds of up to 3 THz using its metal-on insulater technology and quantum tunneling. It elected to commercialize its technology with a 60 Ghz chip designed for HD file transfer, but found the market crowded by competitors using the more familiar silicon-based CMOS process.

So while I applaud the Utah crew for pushing the envelope and predicting some type of terahertz chip within a decade, I hope the chip market is ready to commercialize a terahertz chip in that time frame.

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