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Novel Transmitter Protects Wireless Data From Hackers

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Basic design of the new transmitter; arrows indicate locations of bulk acoustic wave resonators.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a novel transmitter that frequency hops each individual 1 or 0 bit of a data packet, every microsecond, for improved security.

Credit: Rabia Tugce Yazicigil et al.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have invented a transmitter that can hacker-proof wireless data by frequency hopping each individual 1 or 0 bit of a data packet, every microsecond.

The method exploits bulk acoustic wave (BAW) resonators, quickly switching between a wide range of radio-frequency (RF) channels and relaying information for a data bit with every hop.

The team also incorporated in their new transmitter a channel generator that chooses the random channel to transmit each bit every microsecond, while a novel wireless protocol supports this expedited frequency hopping.

The transmitter is built with a BAW resonator-based oscillator as a replacement for a conventional crystal, along with elements that divide an input frequency into multiple frequencies. These divided frequencies are combined by a mixer with the BAW's RFs to generate an array of new RFs that encompass about 80 channels.

"We offer physical-layer security for connectivity of everything," says MIT's Rabia Tugce Yazicigil.

From MIT News
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