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Home / Technology / BYU researchers expand Wi-Fi range by 200 feet with a software upgrade

BYU researchers expand Wi-Fi range by 200 feet with a software upgrade



The researchers, led by Brigham Young Unviersity, have named the protocol On-Off Noise Power Communication (ONPC). While WiFi typically requires speeds of at least one megabit per second to sustain a signal, the ONPC protocol can sustain a signal at only one bit per second. That's one millionth of the data speed normally required.

The protocol allows WiFi-enabled devices to transmit both wireless noise and data. According to BYU, the device can send a series of ones and zeros, with the signal essentially turning on and off in a particular pattern. This is enough to tell the wireless router that the device is still transmitting something (even if no data is being received) and to maintain the signal.

"It basically sends 1

bit of information stating that it's alive," says Professor Neal Patawri of Washington University in St. Louis.

The ONPC protocol allowed researchers to extend the range of a commercially available device by 67 meters beyond the range of standard WLANs. Perhaps the best thing is that ONPC can be programmed on the existing WiFi protocol. Since ONPC is completely software-based, it can theoretically be transferred to just about any WiFi-enabled device through a simple software update.


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