Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are researching how much information can be exchanged via molecular communication. Led by Ph.D. student Sachin Kadloor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, researcher are studying a transmitter that emits a series of identical molecules and in which information is encoded in the release times. The transmitter resides in a fluid in which the molecules disperse by Brownian motion and are then absorbed by a receiver capable of noting their arrival time.
Although Brownian motion creates uncertainty in the arrival times of molecules at the receiver, the researchers say they can quantify that uncertainty. They compare Brownian uncertainty in molecular communication to noise in conventional communications. The researchers say communication is possible as long as the Brownian uncertainty factor is kept below a certain threshold. They say molecular communication's disordered nature could offer important computing capabilities that are not possible with conventional silicon-based systems.
From Technology Review
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A quick note to correct the researchers' affiliations: Sachin is now at UIUC, but most of the work was done when he was at the University of Toronto. The other researchers on the project are from the University of Toronto and York University.
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