Today's standards support 40 different frequency bands, and there is no space left at radio frequencies for future expansion. At the same time, the grand challenge of the next-generation 5G network is to increase the data capacity by 1,000 times.
So the ability to have a transmitter and receiver re-use the same frequency has the potential to immediately double the data capacity of today's networks.
Krishnaswamy noted that other research groups and start-up companies have demonstrated the theoretical feasibility of simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency, but no one has yet been able to build tiny nano-scale ICs with this capability. "Our work is the first to demonstrate an IC that can receive and transmit simultaneously," he said. "Doing this in an IC is critical if we are to have widespread impact and bring this functionality to hand held devices such as cellular hand-sets, mobile devices such as tablets for Wi-Fi, and in cellular and Wi-Fi base stations to support full duplex communications," Krishnaswamy said. The researchers presented their work at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.