Fraunhofer breaks new ground with 4K over THz transmission

Fraunhofer experiment
Fraunhofer HHI and IAF demonstrate the first wireless real-time video transmission using Terahertz

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI has announced that 4K video has been sent in real-time over a wireless Terahertz (THz) link for the first time.

Headquartered in Berlin, the institute develops wireless transmission systems claimed to go beyond the capabilities of 5G. THz is said to support “significantly” higher data transmission rates than current 5G mobile wireless technologies. 

Researchers of the department Photonic Networks and Systems, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, succeeded in transmitting a 4K video in real-time over a wireless THz link. A wireless transmission capacity of 100 Gbit/s was demonstrated.

Dr Robert Elschner, head of internal Terahertz research activities at the Fraunhofer HHI Photonic Networks and Systems department, said: "We were able to achieve stable, continuous operation of the system for more than 70 hours. This is a significant milestone for wireless Terahertz technology." 

The components at the heart of the transmission system are fast, III-V semiconductor-based integrated circuits from Fraunhofer IAF, as well as a high-performance Terahertz modem from Fraunhofer HHI. The transmission used a carrier frequency of 300 GHz across 60cm. 

Dr Colja Schubert, head of the responsible research group "Submarine and Core Systems" at Fraunhofer HHI, said the rate and distance of transmission can be increased further: "It should be possible to realize data rates of 400 Gbit/s and more over short distances. Using optimised antennas, we'll be able to span distances of up to 1 km."