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Japan achieves a fiber optic connection of 1.02 petabits per second, breaking all records

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Although high-speed wireless technologies such as Wifi 6E and 5G dominate the headlinesAnalog and optical cables remain the backbone of the Internet, and for good reason. Researchers in Japan have just established a new fiber optic data transmission record with a technique that is compatible with existing cable infrastructurewhich means that a real-world implementation is entirely possible and not limited to a laboratory environment.

Researchers of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) from Japan sent data over a multicore fiber optic cable at a rate of 1.02 petabits per second at a distance of 51.7 km. That’s the equivalent of sending 127.500 GB of data per second, which the researchers say is enough for more than “10 million streaming channels 8K per second”. As notes New Atlas, it’s also 100,000 times faster that nueva generation of high-speed gigabit connections that bring Internet to home users.

In December 2020, NICT successfully performed the first data transmission of 1 petabit per second a over a standard diameter fiber optic cable, and while the speed improvement to 1.02 petabits per second just a year and a half later is certainly an impressive achievementwhich makes this time so exciting is the technology used to beat the record.

In 2020, NICT researchers sent the data over a single-core fiber-optic cable, but used a multimode technique in which multiple signals were mixed during transmission. In all, 15 “modes” were sent over the fiber, and while the speed gains were impressive, the multimode technique requires special hardware to decrypt the signals and extract usable data, requiring the development and implementation of new technologies. integrated circuits in an entire system costly network and upgrades, making it difficult to sell to internet service providers despite massive bandwidth gains.

This time, the researchers eliminated the mixed-signal multimode approach and instead reduced transmission to just four “modes,” each sending one of four cores inside a custom fiber-optic cable with a standard diameter. . Imagine a straw plastic with four straws thinner ones inside, each with a different flavor of soda: a vast simplification of what the researchers created. But multicore cable was not the only innovation that made this unprecedented data transfer possible, it also relied on some very technical optical amplification systems and signal modulation approaches, as the NICT researchers describe:

In this experiment, by extending the Raman amplification bandwidth to the full S-band and using custom S-band thulium-doped fiber amplifiers (TDFAs) and extended L-band erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs), we were able to use a record 20 THz optical spectrum with a total of 801 x 25 GHz spaced wavelength channels, each with dual polarization QAM 256 modulation for high spectral density in all wavelength bands.

Lo More importantly, this second breakthrough is based on hardware and techniques that are fully compatible with transmitters already conventional existing. New fiber optic cabling will need to be installed, but since the researchers limited the size of their multicore cable to standard dimensions, it would be fully compatible with existing infrastructure, greatly reducing costs.s of renewal. To the extent that 5G becomes more widespreadand with him 6G just around the corner, the demand for data it will continue to grow by leaps and bounds, but innovation like this promises to give internet providers a considerable head start for at least a few years.

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