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January 31, 2014

IBM’s new graphene-based circuit is ‘10,000 times better’ than competitors

It paves way for pervasive wireless communications.

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers at IBM have developed a wafer-scale graphene-based circuit which it claims is capable of offering 10,000 times better performance compared to existing ones.

As part of the research, researchers integrated graphene into a radio frequency receiver and tested it by processing a digital transmission on a 4.3GHz radio frequency that transmitted output ‘01001001,’ ‘01000010,’ and ‘01001101’, which is a binary encoding of the letters "IBM".

According to researchers, the new technology could lead to development of future wireless radios that are both faster and efficient, paving way for pervasive wireless communications.

IBM Research physical sciences director, Supratik Guha, said: "This is the first time that someone has shown graphene devices and circuits to perform modern wireless communication functions comparable to silicon technology."

Built onto a chip with an area of 0.6mm2, the test chip was capable of transferring 20mbps of data.

The data rate with the test chip was 20 megabits per second, IBM said — but that was limited by the test equipment, not the graphene-based receiver itself.

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Further, the team is exploring the use of technology in wireless communications systems, with the mobile devices being potentially capable of transmitting data rapidly at a lower cost using less power.

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