Toshiba has announced a new wireless chipset able to transmit and receive HDTV content over a high-speed 60GHz band, a frequency over ten times higher than that of wireless LAN: it says data transfers at a rate of more than 1 gigabit a second are possible.
Toshiba used the 2007 Symposia on VLSI Circuits, in Kyoto, Japan, to announce its innovation. The company says that “in the near future, consumers will be able to transfer high density digital content such as HD DVD footage, music and broadband downloads between their televisions, computers and HD DVD players without it being tied to a specific room or having to install complicated wiring.” One caveat is that communication distances are limited to a few metres due to the nature of the wave. The technology might be used to transmit HD video to a projector equipped with a receiver module, without the need to run wiring.
At the heart of the technology is a new low-cost CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) fabrication process to achieve high-speed, highly-integrated wireless communications over short distances. In Japan, the US and Europe, frequencies around the 60GHz band are allocated to unlicensed equipment. In the case of Japan, the allocated range is 59 to 66GHz, a width of 7GHz. Consequently millimeter-wave communication is increasingly seen as a solution for short distance transmission of high-speed data.