The new data transmission speed record is impressive. More than 100,000 times that of the fastest optical fiber in Spain (10 Gbps). This is what the engineers of the National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) of Japan have achieved, the true benchmarks in this field and the same ones that in 2020 reached 178 Tbps and earlier this year they achieved 319 Tbps. Now they return to the fray with a record that destroys all the previous ones: 1.02 petabits per second.
To get an idea of the speed achieved, those responsible assure that at this speed of 1 Pb/s it could theoretically transmit up to 10 million video channels per second at 8K resolution. But it is not only the amazing transmission speed, but it has been achieved using fiber optic cables technically compatible with current infrastructure.
Triple the previous world record
The new NICT record has been made using various technologies. On one hand we have a quad core fiber optic, instead of one. This technique was already used in the previous record. Another fact that they have also exceeded is the transmission bandwidth, reaching up to 20 THz thanks to wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology.
This four-core optical fiber uses a standard outside diameter of 0.125 mmwhich means, as the makers explain, that “conventional transceiver hardware can be used. Multicore fibers are believed to be the most likely of the new advanced optical fibers for early commercial adoption.”
#NICT Benjamin Patnam, a group of senior researchers at the Network Research Institute, has used wideband wavelength division multiplexing technology in a standard outer diameter (0.125 mm) 4-core optical fiber for research and development, and is the first in the world to exceed 1 petabit per second. The capacity transmission experiment was successful.https://t.co/y5T7X7LSU3#Optical fiber
— National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (@NICT_Publicity) May 19, 2022
The results of this research have been presented during the ‘International Conference on Laser and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2022′, held last May in California.
Using signal modulation and amplification techniques, the Japanese engineering team has achieved the speed of 1.02 Pb/s, sent through 51.7 kilometers of fiber optic cable. Compared to the previous record, it’s three times faster, even though that one was sent without loss for more than 3,000 kilometers of distance.
In December 2020, the NICT team already managed to break the petabit per second barrier, but they did so with a single-core fiber cable and data encoded in 15 different modes. In other words, they were already able to get close to the new record figures, but they did so with a very complex signal that required a lot of processing to decipher the data.
Now they have returned to replicate the technique that in June 2021 already gave them the record, with a method that not only greatly multiplies the transmission speed, but also does so with fiber cables that can technically be combined with current technologies. This does not mean that we are going to see these speeds at a commercial level soon, but they do leave the door open that fiber optics can do it in the future.
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