Researchers in Japan have achieved record-breaking data transfer speeds via a 1,864-mile optical cable, hitting 319 terabits per second.
Although not available to the ordinary home, this is fast enough to transfer 10,000 high definition movies at around 4 Gigabytes apiece in just one second.
This type of technology is employed in broadband providers’ back-end networks and then distributed to hundreds or thousands of users.
Experts behind the new system at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Telecommunication (NICT) in Tokyo verified that it is compatible with existing infrastructure, implying that networks might be quickly upgraded.
Back-end infrastructure will require these speeds, according to researchers, as services impose increasing demands on internet infrastructure, including faster speeds from 5G networks, as well as the internet of things and streaming.
HOW IT WORKS: SUPER FAST DATA TRANSFER OVER LONG DISTANCE To convey data over a long distance at super-fast speeds, researchers had to split the data up into 552 channels using ‘wavelength-division multiplexing,’ a technology that splits the data shot by a laser into 552 channels.
They began with a four-core linked optical fibre cable that was the same size as a standard one-core cable.
They then separated the data into 552 channels by passing it through a laser.
Every 43.5 miles, boosters filled with rare Earth elements ‘excite the ions’ were transported down the four optical fibre cores.
Each channel was delivering data at a rate of around 145 gigabits per second for each of the four cores, or about 580 gigabits per second for all four cores together.
They used a linked four-core optical fibre line to accomplish the incredible speed, channeling data through four optical fibre tubes rather of a single tube as is typical.
The new approach is identical to the previous record-breaking system, but with one more core, and it decreases signal distortion over extended distances.
The data is then sent via a technique known as ‘wavelength-division multiplexing,’ which divides the data emitted by a laser into 552 channels.
This is then delivered down the four optical fibre cores of the 1,864-mile-long fiber optic cable, with an amplifier every 43.5 miles.
The amplifiers increase the signal’s power to reduce transmission loss over long distances.
They have been laced with rare Earth elements such as thulium and erbium, which act to excite ions and improve signal strength, unlike previous generation amplifiers.
‘Amplification can be performed by introducing a small amount of rare earth ions to the base material of an optical fibre and then activating these ions with lower frequency pump lasers and then amplifying signal photons by stimulated emission,’ they explained.
‘Such amplifiers have greatly expanded the transmission range of optical fibre communication and permitted simultaneous amplification of numerous wavelength channels.’ Each channel transmitted data at a rate of roughly 145 gigabits per second for each of the four cores, or over 580 gigabits per second for all four cores together.
With 552 transmission channels, they were able to attain a record-breaking 319 terabit speed.
It has the same diameter as a typical single-core optical fibre cable, despite the extra wrapping for the four cores.
According to the researchers, this is ‘attractive for early use of the fibres in high-throughput, long-distance networks.’
Although this is fast enough to transfer 10,000 high definition movies at around 4 Gigabytes apiece in one second, it will not be offered to the average home because it is compatible with traditional cable infrastructure.
As the globe moves beyond 5G, they are now aiming to enhance transmission capacity, extend range, and make it faster to match projected demand.
‘After 5G, a massive growth in new data services is envisaged, so it’s critical to show how new fibers can satisfy this demand,’ they stated.
‘As a conclusion, it is envisaged that this result may aid in the development of new communication systems capable of supporting new bandwidth-hungry services,’ the researchers said. The findings were presented at the International Conference on Optical Fiber Communications.