Internet speed record of 319Tb/s reached

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A schematic diagram of the transmission system (NICT)

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan has set a new world record for internet speed at 319Tb/s. 

This beats the previous record of 178Tb/s set last year by the University College of London.  The Japanese team has demonstrated S, C and L-bands transmission over long-haul distances in a 4-core optical fibre with standard outer diameter (0.125 mm). 

The team, which was led by Benjamin Puttnam, constructed a transmission system that makes use of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology by combining different amplifier technologies, to achieve a transmission demonstration with data-rate of 319Tb/s, over a distance of 3,001km. 

In this demonstration, in addition to the C and L-bands, typically used for high-data-rate, long-haul transmission, the team also used the transmission bandwidth of the S-band, which, they said, had not previously been used for further than single span transmission. The combined more than 120nm transmission bandwidth allowed 552 wavelength-division multiplexed channels by adopting two kinds of doped-fibre amplifiers together with distributed Raman amplification, to enable recirculating transmission of the wideband signal. 

The standard cladding diameter, four-core optical fibre can be cabled with existing equipment, and it is hoped that such fibres can enable practical high data-rate transmission in the near-term, contributing to the realization of the backbone communications system, necessary for the spread of new communication services such as 5G and beyond.

The results of this experiment were accepted as a post-deadline paper presentation at this year’s virtual OFC event.

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Image credit: University of Glasgow, James Watt School of Engineering

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