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More than 100 times faster than Wi-Fi?

IBM, among others, wants you to swap movies at a high rate of speed.

Radio scientists at IBM Research and MediaTek are teaming up to develop a wireless transmission protocol that will deliver files more than 100 times faster than Wi-Fi.

A prototype millimeter wave chip IBM

The idea is to take advantage of the 60GHz spectrum, according to Mehmet Soyuer, the lead researcher on the project, who is based in IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. These chips will be able to transfer files at around 2.5 gigabits per second, compared with the 11 to 54 megabits of Wi-Fi. Hence the 100 times faster calculation, Soyuer said.

Put another way, these chips could transfer a 10 gigabyte file wirelessly in five seconds or so, something that would take several minutes on a Wi-Fi network.

The 60GHz spectrum is part of the millimeter wave spectrum, which runs from 30GHz to 300GHz. SiBeam, which is the driving force behind the WirelessHD consortium, has been showing off 60GHz chips in TVs and will make a big push for them at CES. Other companies are also coming out with high-end wireless video and audio chips.

IBM brings the radio expertise to the project while MediaTek will work on the digital signal processing.

IBM and MediaTek want to have something out in three years.