RF Switches For Better Networking

By Aaryaa Padhyegurjar

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Components developed by an international team lead by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin will allow future devices to achieve faster speeds.

The researchers presented new radio frequency switches that are responsible for keeping devices linked by jumping between networks and frequencies while receiving data. Unlike the switches found in most electronics today, these new gadgets are comprised of two-dimensional materials that require substantially less energy to operate, resulting in increased device speed and battery life.

“Anything that is battery-operated and needs to access the cloud or the 5G and eventually 6G network, these switches can provide those low-energy, high-speed functions,” said Deji Akinwande, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the principal leader of the project.

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Because of the increasing demand for speed and power, 6G devices will almost certainly contain hundreds of switches, far more than existing electronics. 6G devices will need to access higher frequency spectrum bands than today’s electronics to achieve faster speeds, and these switches will be critical in doing so. Another crucial part of cracking the code for 6G is making these switches and other components more efficient. This efficiency extends beyond the life of the battery. Because 6G’s applications are so diverse, including driverless cars and smart cities, every device will need to be essentially latency-free.

Switches for 5G devices were earlier developed by Akinwande. The materials utilised this time are one of the most significant differences. MOS2, or molybdenum disulfide, is sandwiched between two electrodes in these novel switches. Memristors are a type of device that is commonly utilised for memory. However, the ability to use these as switches opens the door for present and future gadgets to achieve unprecedented levels of speed and battery life.

“For the technology to be deployed by 2030, a lot of the components, a lot of the architecture needs to be resolved years in advance so that system-level integration and execution can happen in time for the rollout,” Akinwande said.

Click here to access their study.


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