Even if you have access to incredibly fast broadband wherever you reside in the globe, you're still going to be a long, long way behind the new record for data transmission: 1.02 Petabits per second.
One million gigabits are sent via a line every single second. Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) established the record by sending data over 51.7 kilometres (32 miles).
In other words, there is sufficient bandwidth to broadcast 10 million 8K video streams concurrently, as opposed to one, a hundred, or a thousand. That is a substantial amount of Netflix.
One of the most fascinating features of the new record for data transmission speed is that it was reached utilising a network of optical fibres that resembles the present internet infrastructure. According to the experts, this should make future speed enhancements simpler.
A year ago, researchers from the same institute were only able to achieve speeds around one-third as fast as they are now, demonstrating the rapid progress of the technology.
The experiment utilised multi-core fibre (MCF) with a 0.125 mm diameter, and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) was the secret ingredient: This technique enables the simultaneous transmission of signals of multiple wavelengths across a line. Eight hundred and one parallel wavelength channels were crammed into a single line.
Using four cores instead of the typical one effectively quadrupled the pathways that data may go while maintaining the same size as a conventional optical fibre connection. Various additional optimization, signal enhancing, and decoding technologies were also utilised by the researchers.
In specialised studies such as these, there is typically a balance between distance and speed; it is more difficult to maintain high speeds over longer distances. The research group intends to continue enhancing both transmission speed and transmission distance in the future.
While the same set of researchers reached the petabit mark in December 2020, they did it using more complex technologies that needed additional effort to encode and decode messages. This method is easier to deploy in actual physical networks and is more similar to the existing infrastructure.
With 5G also continuing to roll out globally, the outlook is positive for a future of devices connected to an always-on, high-speed internet connection, despite the fast increase in the number of devices that need to connect to the internet.
According to a NICT news release, “beyond 5G, an enormous growth in data traffic from new information and communication services is anticipated, making it vital to demonstrate how new fibres can fulfil this need.”
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It is envisaged that this research would contribute to the development of new communication systems capable of supporting new bandwidth-intensive services.
The research was presented in May at the International Conference on Laser and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2022.