New set of data transmission speed records: 319 terabits per second!

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A gigabit equals a billion bits, a terabit equals a trillion bits, and a petabit equals 1,000 trillion bits, which equates to 10 million 8K broadcast channels per second! NASA only uses 400 GB / s – a connection 40 times faster than the speeds available to consumers. Parts of the United States, Japan, and New Zealand have the fastest home internet connections, but these only exceed 10 GB / s.

So the last one world record for fastest internet speed set by Japanese engineers from the National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (NTIC) is crazy! They demonstrated throughput of 319 terabits per second (Tb / s) across optical fibers – over 3,001 km (1,864.7 miles) of fiber. This is almost twice the previous record set a year ago of 178 Tb / s and 7 times faster than the previous record of 44.2 Tb / s for an experimental photonic chip.

Perhaps most exciting of all, the team claims the technology is compatible with existing cable infrastructure.

This graph of experimental results shows the data rate (throughput) after decoding, and although there is some variation, the average data rate per channel is approximately 145 gigabit per second for each core, and the average data rate of super spatial combined -channel (4 cores) was greater than 580 gigabits per second. The data rate of 319 terabits per second was achieved on the 552 wavelength channels. (Image credit and text description: NTIC)

Led by Benjamin J. Puttnam, the team used the existing fiber optic infrastructure, with additional advanced technologies added. They combined different amplification technologies to build a transmission system that uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology.

They also use four cores (the glass tube inside the fiber that carries the data) instead of the standard. Using WDM, signals are split into multiple wavelengths transmitted simultaneously. In addition, they extend the distance data can travel by using various optical amplification technologies. There is also a third, rarely used “band” included to carry more data.

New set of data transmission speed records: 319 terabits per second!
(Credit: NTIC)

The system begins with a comb laser generating 552 channels at different wavelengths. The light then passes through dual polarization modulation to delay certain wavelengths, creating different signal sequences, each of which is then fed into one of the fiber optic cores.

Every roughly 70 km (43.5 miles) of optical fiber that the data zooms in, it encounters optical amplifiers to keep the signal strong over long distances. At these locations, it passes through two new fiber amplifiers, one doped with thulium and the other with erbium, before going through a standard process called Raman amplification. After that, the signal sequence is directed to a new segment of optical fiber and the cycle begins again.

New set of data transmission speed records: 319 terabits per second!
A diagram of the new experimental transmission system. The data rate of the system was determined by applying error correction coding to the transmitted bit stream. 552 optical carriers with different wavelengths are collectively generated in a frequency comb.
② Polarization multiplexed 16QAM modulation is performed on the output light of the optical frequency comb light source, and a delay is added to create different signal sequences.
Each signal sequence is launched into a core of a 4-core optical fiber.
After propagating through a 4-core optical fiber 69.8 km long, the transmission loss is compensated by optical amplifiers in the S, C and L bands, and the optical fiber is fed into the optical fiber 4-core via a loop switch. By repeating this loop transmission, the final transmission distance reached was 3,001 km.
⑤ The signal from each core has been received and the transmission error has been measured. (Image credit and text description: NTIC)

The quad-core optical fiber and the standard single-core fiber currently in use have the same diameter, even after taking into account the protective jacket. This means that this new technology could be implemented into the existing fiber optic infrastructure with relative ease.

The NTIC engineer plans to further develop broadband and long distance transmission systems and explore how to further increase the transmission capacity of low-core multicore fibers. In addition, they wish to extend the transmission range to transoceanic distances.


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