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5G: The Future of Communications Networks

A new IEEE initiative is working to improve the next generation of wireless

5 min read
Illustration: iStockphoto
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTEFifth-generation wireless technology is causing a lot of excitement in the telecommunications industry, and differences of opinions. Some see 5G as the next evolution in wireless data communications, promising higher bandwidth and data rates, with significantly fewer transmission delays. Others, however, say the technology will be revolutionary, enabling a host of new applications including humanoid robots, connected cars, and the Internet of Things, with its billions of devices laden with embedded sensors.

Wireless carriers have started building 5G networks even though issues—like defining standards to ensure interoperability and outlining security requirements—are still being worked out. How the first 5G networks, expected to debut in 2020, will be built is important because of the effect they will have on cellular-based businesses and multimedia services.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

1 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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