A new record for the fastest data transmission rate ever recorded between a single transmitter and receiver was set by researchers in the UK, who achieved a rate of 1.125 terabits per second using a optical communication system.
“For comparison, this is almost 50,000 times the average speed of a UK broadband connection of 24 megabits per second (Mb / s), which is the current speed defining broadband.” Ultra fast “”, said one of the researchers, Robert Maher of University College London. “To give an example, the data rate that we have achieved would allow the entire HD Games of thrones series to download in 1 second. “
Optical communication systems enable ultra-fast data transmission by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber instead of using an electric current to transfer information. At the most basic level, it is a transmitter, like a light emitting diode, which converts and transmits an electronic signal into a light signal, and a receiver, which converts light back into electricity.
The way Maher and his colleagues set up their new system was to combine 15 different channels through which to send data, and each carries an optical signal of a different wavelength. Once the information reaches its destination, it is combined and fed into a single optical receiver with ultra-high bandwidth for processing. The team calls this 15-channel system “super-channel,” and that’s the key to achieving such insane transfer speeds.
“Using high-bandwidth super-receivers allows us to receive an entire super-channel at one time. Superchannels are becoming increasingly important for basic optical communication systems, which transfer data streams in bulk between large cities, countries or even continents. ” Maher said.
“However, using a single receiver varies the performance levels of each optical subchannel, so we had to finely optimize both the modulation format and the code rate for each optical channel individually to maximize the net information data rate. This ultimately enabled us to achieve the highest information rate ever recorded using a single receiver. “
Details and have been published in Scientific reports, and while that’s an impressive proof of concept for exactly how much faster we could be transmitting data … yes, you guessed it – it won’t change your download speeds anytime soon.
Indeed, this crucial super-channel component is not yet commercially available, so if Maher et co. want their new system to be taken over by the companies that control our Internet, they are going to have to show that it can achieve similar data rates in a long distance transmission scenario. And it won’t be easy, because optical signals can get distorted as they travel thousands of kilometers of optical fiber, and that’s not good for anyone.
So we have the speeds, we just need to increase the whole thing. Hope I see you on the other side of this 1 second Had download in the not-so-distant future.