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Metamaterials Arrive in Cellphones

LG Chocolate BL40 is first cellphone to use a metamaterials antenna

3 min read
Metamaterials Arrive in Cellphones

28 October 2009—The quest to build more-powerful multiband mobile handsets has gotten a boost from a relatively new class of materials. Called metamaterials, they are specifically engineered to have properties that do not occur naturally, such as the ability to bend light the wrong way. For manufacturers of mobile devices, recent advances in metamaterials promise a way to shrink size while still retaining multiband functionality.

LG Electronics’ new Chocolate BL40 mobile handset, from its high-end Black Label Series, will incorporate a metamaterial antenna made by San Diego–based Rayspan, a start-up that’s pioneering the commercialization of metamaterials. LG is the first company to use metamaterials in mobile handsets. Metamaterials have allowed LG to "achieve the dramatically sleek, slim dimensions of the new LG Chocolate and unsurpassed radio-frequency capabilities," says Woo Paik, LG’s president and chief technology officer.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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