Over one petabit per second an incredible data transfer record

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers in Japan have set a new data transfer rate record of 1.02 petabits per second (Pb/s).

The breakthrough has been achieved using fiber optic cables that are compatible with existing infrastructure.

For reference, 1 petabit is equivalent to a million gigabits, which means that this new record is about 100,000 times faster than the highest home internet speed available to consumers.

Even NASA will get “only” 400Gbps when ESnet6 rolls out in 2023. At 1 Pbps, the team says it could theoretically stream 10 million channels of video per second at 8K resolution.

The new record was set by researchers at the Japan National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) using several new technologies.

First, the optical fiber contains four cores – glass tubes that transmit signals – instead of the usual one. The bandwidth has been increased to a record 20 THz using a technology known as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).

This frequency band consists of 801 wavelength channels spread over three bands—the commonly used C and L bands, as well as the experimental S band.

With the help of some other new optical amplification and signal modulation technologies, the team achieved a record speed of 1.02 Pb/s, sending data over 51.7 km of fiber optic cables.

This is not the first time that NICT scientists have exceeded the 1 Pbps milestone for data transmission. In December 2020, the team reported a then-record 1.01 Pb/s using single-core fiber optic cable and data encoded in 15 “modes”.

Impressive as this feat was, deciphering the data required complex signal processing, which would mean the development and deployment of special purpose integrated circuits if the technology was ever going to be deployed on a practical scale.

The new breakthrough is not only faster, but also transfers data in only one mode per core, which means it can be read by already widely used technology.

To top it off, the 4-core fiber optic cable has the same 0.125mm diameter as a standard cable, which means it must be compatible with existing infrastructure and manufacturing processes.

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