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'Microrings' could nix wires for communications in homes, offices

March 4, 2010

Purdue University researchers have developed a miniature device capable of converting ultrafast laser pulses into bursts of radio-frequency signals, a step toward making wires obsolete for communications in the homes and offices of the future. Such an advance could enable all communications, from high-definition television broadcasts to secure computer connections, to be transmitted from a single base station, said Minghao Qi, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Of course, ideas about specific uses of our technology are futuristic and speculative, but we envision a single base station and everything else would be wireless," he said. "This base station would be sort of a computer by itself, perhaps a card inserted into one of the expansion slots in a central computer. The central computer would take charge of all the information processing, a single point of contact that interacts with the external world in receiving and sending information."
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