Although high-speed wireless technologies such as Wireless 6E And with 5G dominating the headlines, analog and fiber optic cables remain the backbone of the internet, and for good reason.Researchers in Japan have just set up a New record for fiber optic data transmission with a technique Compatible with existing cable infrastructurewhich means that it is entirely possible to implement in the real world, not just in a laboratory setting.
researchers from Japan National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) successfully sent data over a distance of 51.7 kilometers at 1.02 petabits per second over a custom-built multi-core fiber optic cable. That’s equivalent to sending 127,500 gigabytes per second of data, which according to the researchers is also enough for “10 million 8K broadcast channels per second.”as New Atlas states, That’s also 100,000 times faster than the next-generation high-speed gigabit connections promised to deliver internet to home users.
In December 2020, NICT actually First successful transmission of 1 bps of data While increasing the speed to 1.02 petabytes per second after a year and a half on a standard diameter fiber optic cable is certainly an impressive achievement, what makes this time so exciting is the technology used to break the record.
In 2020, NICT researchers sent data over a single fiber optic cable, but used multimode technology, which mixes multiple signals together during transmission. A total of 15 “modes” are sent together along the fiber, and while the speed achievements are impressive, the multi-mode technology requires special hardware to descramble the signal and extract the usable data, requiring the development and deployment of a new network of integrated circuits throughout the fiber and expensive upgrades, making it harder to sell to ISPs despite the huge bandwidth gains.
This time, the researchers did away with the mixed-signal, multimode approach and instead reduced the transmission to just four “modes,” each sending down one of four cores within a custom fiber-optic cable with standard diameters. Imagine a plastic straw stuffed with four thinner straws, each with a different flavor of soda: a crude simplification the researchers created. But multi-core cables are not the only innovation that makes this record-breaking data transfer possible, it also relies on some very technical optical amplification systems and signal modulation methods, as the NICT researchers describe:
In this experiment, by widening the Raman amplification bandwidth to the full S-band and using a custom thulium-doped fiber amplifier (TDFA) and an extended L-band erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) for the S-band, we were able to use a record-breaking 20 THz spectrum with a total of 801 x 25 GHz spaced wavelength channels, each with dual polarization 256 QAM modulation, enabling high spectral density in all bands.
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The most important part is that the second breakthrough relies on hardware and technology that is fully compatible with legacy transceiver hardware that already exists across the country. New fiber-optic cables need to be installed, but as researchers limit the size of multi-core cables to standard sizes, Fully compatible with existing infrastructure, greatly reducing upgrade costs. With 5G ubiquitous, and 6G just around the corner, the country’s demand for data will continue to skyrocket, but innovations like this are expected to give internet providers a sizable lead for at least a few years.