Optical Communication

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Science  23 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6382, pp. 1374-1375
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6382.1374-d

With consumer broadband speeds on the rise and the prospect of “fiber to the home” effectively providing access to unlimited bandwidth, actual end-user data rates will nevertheless be limited by the radio-frequency wireless routers. One solution (avoiding hardwiring) is optical wireless communication, whereby an optical system replaces the wireless link. The obvious issue is that gadgets in a room tend to move, and a direct line-of-sight connection between sender and receiver stations is required. Zhang et al. propose an optical beam-steering scheme that provides a sufficiently wide field of view and demonstrate a data rate of 40 gigabits per second. The ability to stream content in high definition on multiple devices without the “wheel of patience” would be a thing of the past.

Opt. Lett. 43, 723 (2018).

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