Military Embedded Systems

Wireless comms breakthrough made by University of Florida team


March 06, 2024

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy University of Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. A team of researchers at the University of Florida (UF) report they have made a wireless communication breakthrough by using semiconductor technology to produce 3D processors, which they say can vastly improve the way large amounts of data are transmitted across the globe and could basically reshape the current wireless-communication arena.

The project -- which received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -- created a 3D nanomechanical resonator using CMOS [complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor] fabrication processing. In the past, wireless communication has relied on planar processors, which are effective but are limited by their 2D structure to operate within a limited portion of electromagnetic spectrum.

Roozbeh Tabrizian, Ph.D., an associate professor in UF’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, whose team developed the three-dimensional processor, said “By harnessing the strengths of semiconductor technologies in integration, routing and packaging, we can integrate different frequency-dependent processors on the same chip. That’s a huge benefit.”

The 3D processors take up less physical space while delivering enhanced performance and have indefinite scalability, which means that they can grow to accommodate mounting demand. Tabrizian stated that the UF team's breakthrough marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of wireless communication as the world grows increasingly reliant on seamless connectivity and real-time data exchange.

“The ability to transmit data more efficiently and reliably will open doors to new possibilities, fueling advancements in areas such as smart cities, remote health care, and augmented reality,” he said.

The UF team's findings were published in the latest issue of Nature Electronics.

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