Researchers at University College London (UCL) in the UK have achieved a data transmission rate of 178 terabits per second, five times faster than the previous record.
The record, described in a research article published in the journal IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, is double the capacity of any system currently deployed in the world.
This was achieved by transmitting data through a much wider range of light colors or wavelengths than that typically used in fiber optics, the researchers said.
They combined different amplification technologies needed to increase signal power over this wider bandwidth and maximize speed by developing new geometric shaping (GS) constellations, manipulating the properties of each individual wavelength. .
GS constellations are models of signal combinations that make best use of the phase, brightness and polarization properties of light.
The advantage of the technique is that it can be deployed on already existing infrastructure in a cost effective manner, upgrading amplifiers located on fiber optic routes at 40 to 100 km intervals, the researchers said.
The new record, demonstrated in the lab, is a fifth faster than the previous world record held by a team in Japan, the researchers said.
At this speed, it would take less than an hour to download the data that made up the world’s first image of a black hole, they said.
The speed is close to the theoretical limit for data transmission set by the American mathematician Claude Shannon in 1949, according to the researchers.
âWhile state-of-the-art cloud data center interconnects are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits per second, we are working with new technologies that make more efficient use of existing infrastructure,â said lead author Lidia Galdino, Senior Lecturer at UCL and Member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow.
These technologies make better use of fiber optic bandwidth, enabling a record transmission rate of 178 terabits per second, Galdino said.