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World's first 25Gbps data communication using Quantum Dot Laser achieved


June 4, 2010

A breakthrough in quantum dot laser communication could mean the next-generation Ethernet is closer than we think.

A breakthrough in quantum dot laser communication could mean the next-generation Ethernet is closer than we think.

A collaboration between Fujitsu and the University of Tokyo achieved a record 25Gbps data communication link using quantum dot laser, a low-cost technology that can reliably handle high-speed data transmissions while consuming minimal power. With good performance and wide margins for further improvement, this development paves the way to the next generation of high-speed Ethernet data communications, which will see a tenfold increase in transfer speed.

As the video sharing and cloud computing phenomena keep inflating our need for speed, engineers urgently need solutions to keep pace with these growing demands. When it comes to long distances the astronomical speeds and good technical characteristics of fiber optics seem up to the task of meeting our demands for some time to come. But of course, since our personal computers aren't (yet) capable of directly elaborating the light signals from fiber optics, the speed of the end connection becomes just as important.

This explains why this research is newsworthy: quantum dot laser is a semiconductor-based technology that can interface with our home computers, and do so 2.5 times faster than the latest Ethernet standard. This development also comes with excellent timing, since the IEEE has announced it is hoping to create a 100Gbps Ethernet standard by this year's end, which makes quantum dot laser the strongest candidate to date.

One of the main issues with current semiconductor-based data transmission is their very poor stability as the temperature rises, which in turn causes dramatic increases in power consumption. Quantum dot lasers are less sensitive to temperature fluctuations and also offer much lower power consumption, weaker distortion, and faster speeds. The decreased sensitivity to temperature fluctuations also makes temperature controllers superfluous, which helps in lowering costs.

Up to now quantum dot laser technology could only achieve data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, but the researchers managed to reach higher speeds by forming high-density indium-arsenide quantum dots on the surface of a gallium-arsenide substrate, which doubles the number of quantum dots per unit area. Additionally, they developed a technology for stacking multiple layers of high-density dots, increasing the number of layers from five to eight.

Fujitsu and the University of Tokyo have announced they plan to further develop this technology, working on improving reliability and transmission distance while QD Laser is currently considering commercializing this technology.

About the Author
Dario Borghino Dario studied software engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin. When he isn't writing for Gizmag he is usually traveling the world on a whim, working on an AI-guided automated trading system, or chasing his dream to become the next European thumbwrestling champion. All articles by Dario Borghino

It\'s a shame we can\'t use it here in Australia. Our phone lines are mostly twisted pairs with awful speeds. It will be good when our Fibre Optic Roll-out gets done.

Cheers Mick

Mick Trapman

Wireless campaigners take note - 25 Gbps over a single cable to a PC achievable in 2010 with low power consumption (that\'s 25 times the 100 Mbps benchmark for first-generation fibre in the Australian National Broadband Network). Try doing that with wireless, even over the distance between two benches in a lab. I\'m with Mick - roll on, NBN.

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