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East Midlands Chamber News

Taking wireless communication to the next level

A University of Nottingham-led team of European scientists has won a 3.41m euro grant to develop the wireless communication technology of the future.

This new research will aim to provide the design tools for wireless chip-to-chip (C2C) communication which is essential for the development of faster and more powerful electronic devices like mobile phones, tablets and computers.

The substantial funding from the EU’s biggest research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, will enable mathematicians, physicists and electrical engineers to collaborate to develop next-generation chip technology and wireless networks.

Leading the project, Dr Gregor Tanner, from The University of Nottingham’s School of Mathematical Sciences, said: “The future of electronic communication devices will require wireless communication at chip level. Wireless chip-to-chip interaction and wireless links between printed circuit boards are key to the next generation of integrated circuits and chip architecture. We need to overcome the information bottleneck caused by wired connections but wireless C2C networks cannot be achieved with current engineering simulation tools and models.

“Our expertise at Nottingham will help design new and efficient modelling strategies for describing and exploiting noisy electromagnetic fields in complex microchip environments. We need to deal with the fact that input signals of these future communication systems will be modulated, coded, noisy and eventually disturbed by other signals and the environment and are thus extremely complex.

Recent advances in Nottingham in both mathematical physics and electrical engineering in handling complex, chaotic, wave fields will play an important part in addressing these challenges.”

It is hoped that the research will open up new pathways for microchip design, for signal carrier frequency ranges as well as improving energy efficiency and miniaturisation of the technology.

The Nottingham team is comprised of Dr Gregor Tanner, Dr Stephen Creagh and Dr Gabriele Gradoni from Mathematical Sciences and Professor David Thomas, Dr Chris Smartt and Dr Stephen Greedy from the Department of Electrical Engineering.

They will be working with collaborators at three other universities: the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, the Technical University Munich and the Institut Supérieur de l’Aeronautique & de l’Espace, Toulouse, as well as three industrial partners, IMST GmbH, Germany, NXP Semi-conductors and CST AG, Germany.