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World-record 43 Tbps data transfer speed set by Danish researchers

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August 3, 2014

DTU researchers have set a new data transmission record of 43 Tbps over optical fiber (Pho...

DTU researchers have set a new data transmission record of 43 Tbps over optical fiber (Photo: Shutterstock)

Using a new type of optical fiber, researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have transmitted data over a single optical fiber at a speed of 43 terabits per second (43 Tbps) to set a new data transmission world record. This beats the previous record of 32 Tbps set by researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Although the High-Speed Optical Communications (HSOC) team at DTU Fotonik had previously achieved the world's highest combined data transmission speed of 1 petabit per second (Pbps) using hundreds of lasers, the team's 43 Tbps record was achieved with a single laser in the transmitter, making it much more energy efficient.

The new record was made possible by using a new type of optical fiber borrowed from Japan telco NTT that contains seven glass thread cores instead of the single core found in standard optical fibers. Although the seven cores allows the fiber to transfer more data, the team says it does not take up any more space than a standard optical fiber.

The team says the quest for faster and faster data transmission speeds will help in the development of technology that will accommodate the ever-increasing growth of internet traffic, which it estimates is growing by 40 to 50 percent annually, simultaneously increasing bandwidth while cutting energy consumption.

The team says its new record has been verified and presented in a post deadline paper at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2014 international conference held in San Jose, California last month.

Source: Technical University of Denmark

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
7 Comments

Oh, I saw this headline elsewhere but didn't know they were using 7 cores to achieve the benchmark. It isn't that difficult to send a lot of data over 7 different cores because the frequency spectrum can be re-used over each fiber so it isn't that different from using 7 separate fibers from a technical standpoint.

What is interesting though is their claim of doing it with a single laser. To me that means all 43 Tbps of data was electrons before hitting that laser and that seems a lot more amazing, if even hard to believe that a single laser is responsible for modulating 43Tb of data over 7 different fiber cores.

Part of me wonders if they are using a photonic integrated circuit.

Daishi
3rd August, 2014 @ 10:08 pm PDT

Whenever I see such an Article I'm usually more interested in getting to know what kind of data they actually push through those fibers when they do the benchmarking.

All seasons of The Simpsons in UltraHD?

Gaëtan Mahon
4th August, 2014 @ 04:08 am PDT

Fails to mention distance, as a major obstacle.

Bob Flint
4th August, 2014 @ 09:53 am PDT

Speed increases are almost irrelevant because at every step Comcast or Murdoch or whomever will raise prices and limit service quality even as costs continue to drop. The U.S. pays far more for crappy speed and stability than any other major nation. And this trend will continue and even accelerate even as technical issues get cheaper, faster, & better because these .01percenters can buy Senators, Congressmen & Governors on a rent-to-own basis.

StWils
4th August, 2014 @ 10:47 am PDT

@StWils costs per bit drop but at a rate slower than traffic is growing. Here is a quote from the Internet peering playbook:

"As the price of Internet Transit has dropped an average of 30% per year, the average volume of Internet traffic has historically grown by 40-50% per year. This growth leads to growth of the transit fees paid by and paid to the upstream ISP's"

From my perspective, the networks I am familiar with have seen their costs grow significantly over the last several years as many of them have outgrown single chassis routing solutions and moved to very large power hungry multi-chassis solutions like Cisco CRS3. Think about it this way, ISP's are starting to offer 1G speeds at the edge and the core of their networks are largely still built with many many 10G ethernet links.

There are a lot of 100GE products on the market that are very expensive and have lower density than fistfulls of 10GE. The US also has a more expensive economy and has a very low population density. All things being equal there are still countries like South Korea that come out shining but I have yet to see anyone bother to calculate for any of these factors and take an actual balanced view on the issue.

The executives are rolling in money they don't deserve but that is the case with many companies.

Daishi
4th August, 2014 @ 07:51 pm PDT

StWils is right, we here pay more than several countries do, and we get the worst service... On the west coast, after 8... forget it all the big companies send the banwith to India and China. We here hardly get our e-mail.

S Michael
5th August, 2014 @ 06:29 pm PDT

@S Michael

"StWils is right"

Great, someone informed on the topic and the industry is going to weigh in against my points with meaningful counter points!

"all the big companies send the banwith to India and China. We here hardly get our e-mail."

OK, nevermind that's nonsense. Thank you anyway for participating.

Daishi
5th August, 2014 @ 08:12 pm PDT
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