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The millimeter-wave/terahertz phased array chip. (Credit: Maria Ines Perez-Vargas/UC Davis)

A novel, high-frequency electronic chip is potentially capable of transmitting tens of gigabits of data per second. The chip was designed using a phased array antenna system, which funnels the energy from multiple sources into a single beam that can be narrowly steered and directed to a specific location.

Most modern electronics are designed to operate at lower frequencies. However, the growing demand for faster communication, and new and emerging applications of sensing and imaging are driving the creation of technologies that function at higher frequencies. The prototyped chip successfully operates at 370 GHz with 52 GHz of bandwidth.

The tiny piece of hardware is evidence that it is possible to harness the large available bandwidth at millimeter-wave and terahertz bands on a single, compact chip. This is an important step toward the development of scalable systems that can be used to sharpen technologies like medical imaging.

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