National Institute of Information and Communications Technology Network Research Institute (NICT) research team Achieved a new bandwidth world record Via a single standard diameter optical fiber.
By encoding information at 55 different optical frequencies, a technique known as multiplexing, the research team achieved a bandwidth of about 1.53 petabits per second. That’s enough bandwidth to carry the world’s Internet traffic (estimated at less than 1 petabit per second) over a single fiber optic cable. This is a far cry from the gigabit connections we humans have at our disposal (in the best case scenario). A million times higher.
This technology works by making use of the different frequencies of light available across the spectrum. Each “color” in the spectrum (visible and invisible) has its own frequency, distinct from all others, and thus can carry its own independent stream of information. Researchers have successfully unlocked a spectral efficiency of 332 bits per second per Hz (bits per second per Hz). That’s three times his efficiency over his best attempt of 2019, which achieved a spectral efficiency of 105 bits/s/Hz.
Researchers have successfully transmitted information in the C-band through 184 different wavelengths (distinct, non-overlapping frequencies created to transmit information simultaneously in fiber cables). The light was modulated to transmit 55 separate data streams (modes) before being sent over the fiber optic cable. After modulation (and like most fiber optic cables deployed today), a single glass core was required to transmit all the data. When data is transmitted (on 184 wavelengths and 55 modes), the receiver decodes the various wavelengths and modes to collect the data. In our experiments, the distance between sender and receiver was set to 25.9 kilometers.
More attentive readers may remember that we recently covered a similar development – a photonics relay prototype that achieved 1.84 petabits per second bandwidth. This is a higher number than this work has achieved, but the problem with this solution is that it uses photonic chips that are still in the experimental design stage. As such, this particular study could be deployed much sooner (all that would be required is a slow upgrade of the fiber optic infrastructure to match its design). And since there is still a gap between global traffic and transmission speeds of 1.54 petabits per second (which we must emphasize on a single standard diameter fiber optic cable), it is already more economical seems meaningful. Bandwidth on the table. And given the number of wavelengths researchers have used in past experiments (but not this one), there are clear ways to increase bandwidth in the future.
Learn more about the record-breaking 1.53 Petabits/sec data transfer here. NICT official press releasewith technical details near the bottom of the page.