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Communications

— Science

Quantum memory storage to help quantum communications go the distance

By - November 30, 2014 1 Picture
The technologies made possible by breakthroughs in quantum physics have already provided the means of quantum cryptography, and are gradually paving the way toward powerful, practical, everyday quantum computers, and even quantum teleportation. Unfortunately, without corresponding atomic memories to appropriately store quantum-specific information, the myriad possibilities of these technologies are becoming increasingly difficult to advance. To help address this problem, scientists from the University of Warsaw (FUW) claim to have developed an atomic memory that has both exceptional memory properties and a construction elegant in its simplicity. Read More
— Telecommunications

Gigabit WiFi hubs to replace New York pay phones

By - November 18, 2014 6 Pictures
Very few New Yorkers (other than the occasional superhero) use pay phone booths anymore due to the ubiquity of the personal cellphone. As a result, the city of New York has been left with many thousands of largely obsolete phones and phone booths along its streets. In an effort to find a use for this aging infrastructure, the city has re-imagined them as a new type of asset that will provide free 24-hour a day gigabit Wi-Fi, free phone calls to anywhere in the United States, touch-screen monitors that access city services and maps, along with a handy charging port for your cellphone. Read More
— Computers

Skype rolls out web version for selected browsers

By - November 16, 2014 2 Pictures
In welcome news for anybody who has fumbled around on an unfamiliar computer to download and install Skype for an important call, Microsoft has announced a beta version of the popular telecommunications application for web browsers. Skype for Web will at first be available on an invitation-only basis and for select browsers, with plans to roll out globally in the following months. Read More
— Electronics

New RF circulator to run rings around old technology

By - November 12, 2014 2 Pictures
In the world of electronic components, there are many devices out there that do their job well and reliably, but are almost never heard of – even though they may be vital to equipment that plays a role in our technology-driven lives. The radio frequency (RF) circulator is just such a device: it has simply done its job as a nondescript box of gubbins buried in radio communications systems, quietly directing radio frequency signals to the places they should go. Now researchers at the University of Texas have given the RF circulator a makeover. Not only is the new prototype smaller, lighter, and cheaper, it's also claimed to be easily adapted to different frequencies on the fly, which is something the old style circulator cannot do. Read More
— Space

MAVEN uses special radio to relay data from Curiosity Mars rover

By - November 10, 2014 3 Pictures
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the latest link in the space agency's Martian communications network for keeping in touch with its surface rovers. Last week, the unmanned orbiter carried out a test using a special radio apparatus that allowed it to relay 550 megabits of data from the Curiosity rover to NASA’s Deep Space Network back on Earth. Read More
— Telecommunications

Breaking the speed record: Multi-core optical fibers achieve 255 Tbps

By - November 3, 2014 1 Picture
Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Central Florida have developed a new fiber optics cable capable of transmitting the contents of over 5,000 DVDs in a single second – a speed six times greater than the previous record. The advance could help us reach petabit-per-second speeds over the next few years, which will be crucial for keeping up with growing bandwidth demands. Read More
— Electronics

DARPA circuit smashes electronic speed record

By - October 30, 2014 3 Pictures
Getting into the Guinness Book of World Records isn't just about who can eat the most hotdogs or fly a paper airplane the highest. Sometimes it involves technological breakthroughs with huge potential. Guinness has handed DARPA’s Terahertz Electronics program the award for the fastest solid-state amplifier integrated circuit. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) is a ten-stage common-source amplifier that cranks speeds of one terahertz (1012 Hz), or one trillion cycles per second. Read More

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