A new microchip that is claimed will give drones and self-driving cars access to “6G and beyond” mobile internet has been developed.
The next generation chip can transmit data more than 30 times faster than the most advanced 5G internet today, scientists said.
They believe its connection is so fast it can download a Netflix film in less than a blink of an eye at an incredible 1,000 gigabits per second.
And experts say it could allow robots to connect to AI super-computers via 6G and perform tasks only seen in science fiction so far.
Professor Tadao Nagatsuma from Osaka University said: “The new multiplexer can be mass-produced, just like computer chips, but much simpler. So large-scale market penetration is possible.
“This would enable applications in 6G and beyond, as well as the Internet of Things, and low-probability-of-intercept communications between compact aircraft such as autonomous drones.”
There are huge hopes for 5G technology to revolutionise our lives by making virtually every electrical device connect to the internet.
But even that has limits and researchers say 6G is decades from allowing self-driving cars to see through walls and around corners, GPS-style tracking accuracy slashed to within a centimetre.
The new microchip was developed by researchers from Osaka University, Japan and the University of Adelaide, Australia.
It allows mobile internet communications to use a different electrical frequency range which massively boosts data transmission.
Their new silicon “multiplexer” is designed to break up huge amounts of data into “manageable chunks” for terahertz-range communications in the 300-GHz band.
Associate Professor Withawat Withayachumnankul from the University of Adelaide’s School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering said: “The new terahertz multiplexers, which are economical to manufacture, will be extremely useful for ultra-broadband wireless communications.
“The shape of the chips we have developed is the key to combining and splitting channels so that more data can be processed more rapidly. Simplicity is its beauty.”
Lead author Dr Daniel Headland from Osaka University explained their device covered a bandwith more than 30 times that allocated in Japan for for 4G/LTE, the fastest mobile technology currently available and 5G which is the next generation, combined.
This makes ultra-high-speed digital transmission possible as bandwidth is related to data rate, he said.
Associate Professor Masayuki Fujita, the team’s leader from Osaka University added: “Our four-channel multiplexer can potentially support aggregate data rate of 48 gigabits per second (Gbit/s), equivalent to that of uncompressed 8K ultrahigh definition video being streamed in real time.”
The researchers say their design was still relatively basic and could be tweaked to squeeze the data ranges towards a mind-boggling 1 Terabit per second.
This is the equivalent of more than 600 Netflix films being downloaded per second.