Researchers set data transfer world record, moving twice the total global Internet traffic in a second
A team of researchers has reportedly set a new world record for data transmission.
The international group from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden used a single light source to transmit 1.8 petabits per second.
In a release, DTU said they were the first in the world to transmit more than 1 petabit per second – which corresponds to 1 million gigabits – using only a single laser and a single optical chip that uses a “frequency comb ” named.
“In the experiment, the researchers managed to transfer 1.8 Pbit/s, which corresponds to twice the total global Internet traffic,” they wrote. “And only carried by the light from one optical source. The light source is a custom optical chip, which can use the light from a single infrared laser to create a rainbow spectrum of many colors, that is, many frequencies. So, the one frequency (color) of a single laser can be multiplied into hundreds of frequencies (colors) in a single chip.”
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The colors are fixed at a specific frequency distance from each other like the teeth on a comb, which is why it is called a frequency comb.
“Each color (or frequency) can then be isolated and used to print data. The frequencies can then be recombined and sent over an optical fiber, thus transmitting data. Even a large volume of data, as the researchers discovered,” explained DTU. .
Victor Torres Company, a professor at Chalmers University of Technology, said that the chip has ideal properties for optical fiber communication, with “high optical power” and covering a “wide bandwidth within the spectral region that is interesting for advanced optical communication.”
However, he notes that the chip was not optimized for this particular application and that some of the characteristic parameters were achieved by chance.
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“However, with efforts in my team, we are now able to reverse engineer the process and achieve with high reproducibility microcombs for target applications in telecommunications,” said Company.
The researchers said the solution uses significantly less power and could help reduce the Internet’s climate footprint.
“In other words, our solution offers a potential for replacing hundreds of thousands of the lasers located at Internet hubs and data centers, all of which swallow power and generate heat. We have an opportunity to contribute to the achievement of an Internet that leaves a smaller climate footprint,” said Professor Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, the head of the Center of Excellence for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communications at DTU.
However, he notes that there is still development work ahead before the solution can be implemented in current communication systems.
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The research was published in the journal Nature Photonics.