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European scientists set new data transmission speed record

The new world record of 1.8 petabits per second has been set by researchers in Denmark and Sweden, with a method that could be scaled up to help reduce the internet’s climate footprint.

European scientists have set a new data transmission speed record using a single laser and a single optical chip.

The international team of researchers from the Technical University of Denmark and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have become the first in the world to achieve remarkable speeds of over 1.8 petabits per second, twice the amount of internet traffic global.

To get a better idea of ​​the magnitude of this achievement, a petabit is equal to 1 million gigabits.

The researchers were able to transmit the data by light from a single optical source – a custom-designed optical chip that can use light from a single infrared laser to create a rainbow spectrum of many colors or frequencies.

This means that a single chip created by the team can multiply the frequency of a single laser into hundreds of frequencies, which the researchers believe has enormous potential for scaling and possibly reducing the climate footprint of the Internet.

Victor Torres Company, a professor at Chalmers University of Technology and leader of the research group that developed and manufactured the chip, said the experiment had the potential to positively impact fiber optic communication.

“The particularity of this chip is that it produces a frequency comb with ideal characteristics for fiber optic communications – it has high optical power and covers a wide bandwidth in the spectral region which is attractive for advanced optical communications “, did he declare.

Torres Company added that some of the “characteristic parameters” of the experiment were reached by coincidence and were unintentional. The team was then able to reverse engineer the process and find applications for the technology in the telecommunications industry.

Professor Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, head of the Center of Excellence for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communications at the Technical University of Denmark, said the team’s calculations show that the single chip and laser combo will be able to transmit up to at 100 petabits per second.

“In other words, our solution offers the potential to replace hundreds of thousands of lasers located in internet hubs and data centers, all of which consume power and generate heat,” he said. declared.

“We have the opportunity to help achieve an Internet that leaves a smaller climate footprint.”

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