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Standard Fiber Optic Tech Achieves Record 1.53 Petabit per Second Transmissions

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.

Previous experiments used 3 to 6 times longer wavelengths, and even though they were used across multiple bands, the spectral efficiency was significantly reduced, resulting in lower transmission capacity. (Image credit: NICT)

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.

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