Scientists Achieve 26Tbps Data Transfer Record
German scientists transfer data at 26 Tbps, using very low energy and raising hopes for fast networks
Scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have achieved the world’s fastest data transmission at 26 terabits per second (Tbps), using a single laser, over a 50km fibre.
At this speed, the equivalent of nearly 1,000 high-definition DVDs could be transferred in one second, according to a BBC report.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest line rate ever encoded onto a single light source,” said the scientists in the journal Nature Photonics, also citing the feasibility and ease of handling terabit per second data with low energy consumption.
Fastest data transmission ever
In fact, their recent scientific breakthrough seems to promise a bright future for cloud computing, 3D high-definition television and virtually-reality applications, which require unprecedented optical channel bandwidths.
“These high-capacity optical channels, however, are fed from lower-bitrate signals. The question then is whether the lower-bitrate tributary information can viably, energy-efficiently and effortlessly be encoded to and extracted from terabit per second data stream,” said the scientists.
According to ZDNet, the experiment used a single laser to create a long range of pulses, which are known as ‘frequency combs’. These pulses were then magnified into 325 colour channels via a method called ‘inverse fast Fourier transform,’ before being sent down a 50km cable. Once it reached the other end, an optical fast Fourier transform encoded it back into data.
100 Tbps is already possible
According to a co-author of the journal Wolfgang Freude, the 26 Tbps technique can transmit data across a long distance, which makes it different from work being doneopn high speed transmission at IBM and Intel.
“What IBM and Intel are interested in is communication on-chip or between chips,” he said. “What we are interested in is [transmission] over distances — without amplification — of between 50 and 100km. Then the amplifier comes in and we have the possibility of transatlantic connection.”
However, the 26 Tbps data transfer is not actually the fastest, according Freude.
“Already a 100 terabits per second experiment has been demonstrated,” he said, adding that this required 370 lasers, which is highly expensive. “If you can imagine 370 lasers, they fill racks and consume several kilowatts of power,” he explained.