A new chip created by DARPA and Northrop Grumman was accepted into the Guinness Book of World Records today for clocking in at 1 terahertz per second, an ability that could open up new applications in communications and imaging.
The chip works at 1 trillion cycles per second, compared to the previous world record of 850 billion cycles set in 2012. That means that every second, 1 trillion terahertz waves are produced. That puts the waves at the frequency between what your microwave emits and the infrared radiation used in night vision goggles.
Why are researchers interested in packing those waves ever tighter? First, it could open up new broadband options and ways to communicate over short distances between mobile devices. It also allows for more detailed imaging and sensing. Radar, for example, works by sending out waves and then measuring what bounces back. Tighter waves allow for a more detailed picture of what they are bouncing back off. Researchers have spent years developing systems to use waves to see through walls, and now they could be able to pick up on even more details.