Is a Wireless Data Center Possible?

In a new paper, a team of researchers from Cornell and Microsoft concluded that a data-center operator could replace hundreds of feet of cable with 60-GHz wireless connections—assuming that the servers themselves are redesigned in cylindrical racks, shaped like prisms, with blade servers addressing both intra- and inter-rack connections.

via Is a Wireless Data Center Possible?.

Although many 60-GHz technologies are under consideration (IEE 802.15.3c and 802.11ad, WiGig, and others), the authors picked a Georgia Tech design with bandwidth of between 4-15Gbps and and effective range of less than or equal to 10 meters. Beam-steering wasn’t used because of the latencies involved in reinstating a dropped connection, although both time and frequency multiplexing were. (Because the team couldn’t actually build the design, they chose Terabeam/HXI 60-GHz transceivers for a conservative estimate.)