Editor’s opinion: A team of researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) has broken the old Internet speed record of 178 terabits per second out of the water. The new record? 319 terabits per second. It took some ingenuity and tweaking to make it work, but the good news is that the new optical fibers are compatible with existing equipment, which means it might not be too difficult to modernize existing lines.
To accomplish this feat, the researchers (led by Benjamin J. Puttnam) built a transmission system that fully utilizes wavelength division multiplexing technology by combining different amplification technologies.
Its quad-core optical fiber (with a standard outer diameter of 0.125mm) stretched 69.8 km and was twisted 43 times for a final transmission distance of 3,001 km, or about 1,865 miles.
The research work The topic goes into a lot more detail if you like that sort of thing, and involves the use of rare earth ions and lasers. It sounds complicated and incredible in equal measure, assuming, of course, that you can make sense of it all.
The combined transmission bandwidth> 120nm allowed 552 wavelength division multiplexed channels by adopting 2 types of doped fiber amplifier together with distributed Raman amplification, to allow recirculating transmission of the broadband signal.
The team said the fiber optics they used can be connected to existing equipment. The hope, they added, is that the advance could enable practical high-speed data transmission in the near future, perhaps as a next step beyond 5G.