The 6G networks will have a serious drawback, since their stable operation will require a tighter placement of repeaters if standard communication tools are used. As a result, such placement will greatly increase the load on both the cable infrastructure for connecting base stations and on antennas with fiber optic cables, which will increase their cost.
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Researchers from the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics KIT (IPQ), the Institute of Microstructural Technologies (IMT), the Institute of Radio Frequency Engineering and Electronics (IHE) and the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Physics of Solid State (IAF) published an article in the journal Nature Photonics optic modulator for direct connection of the antenna to fiber optic cables.
The essence of the invention lies in the fact that the radio frequency signal through a special medium with nanostructures is transformed into photons. Transformation occurs due to such physical phenomena as the excitation of plasmon quasi-particles — these are group oscillations of a free electron gas.
In the experiment, the carrier frequency was chosen to be 0.29 THz. The data transfer rate in the process of experience reached 50 Gbps The modulator bandwidth was 0.36 THz. This technology opens the way to the speed of data transmission over a single optical line up to several hundred GB / s. At the next stage, scientists will try to simplify the design of the modulator and related structures in order to bring development to the stage of a commercial project. This is a good start for developing wireless networks of the future.