Japan just broke the Internet speed record: 319 terabits per second


How does your internet connection work these days? At a recent conference, Japanese researchers demonstrated a massive data transmission rate of 319 terabits per second (Tb / s). Remarkably, the transmission was performed over a long distance (3001 km / 1864 miles) and using technology already available today.

Image credits: Joshua Sortino.

One minute of footage, in high definition, takes about 100 megabytes. This means that with this speed you can download approximately 5,300 hours of footage. each second. You can download the entire Spotify library within seconds. Wikipedia you would download in 0.01 seconds.

This speed is almost double the previous record of 178 Tbps, and almost seven times the previous record of 44.2 Tbps. Meanwhile, NASA’s Internet is hitting 91 Gb / s (1TB = 1,000 Gb = 1,000,000MB) and the fastest home Internet you can get is around 10Gb / s. At ZME, we feel lucky to be working with a 1 Gb / s connection.

The record was achieved with an already existing infrastructure, although the researchers added a few key pieces of equipment. The team used optical fiber with four “cores” – glass tubes in the cable – instead of the standard core. To boost the speed, the researchers split the signal into different wavelengths. The key innovation seems to be that they used a seldom-used wavelength band.

“In this demonstration, in addition to the C and L bands, which are typically used for high speed long distance transmission, we are using the S band transmission bandwidth, which has not yet been used for more than one. -span transmission, ”the researchers write in the study.

Image via Fiber Labs.

With more tapes, the researchers were able to resume the normal data sending process (which begins with a laser “comb” fired at different wavelengths) and extend it a much longer distance. After 70 km (43.5 miles), the signal was amplified with optical amplifiers. But the researchers didn’t use regular boosters. They used two new types of fiber optic amplifiers: one doped with thulium and the other with erbium – both materials have been used as boosters before. This amplification process is called Raman amplification. After that, the process is repeated indefinitely, allowing the signal to cover the enormous distance of 3000 km.

Although the researchers implemented some innovations, the whole structure uses the same diameter as the conventional single-core optical fiber, which means that conventional cables can be replaced by the new ones. This would greatly facilitate the transition to a new type of infrastructure.

“The standard cladding diameter, 4-core optical fiber can be cabled with existing equipment, and it is hoped that such fibers can provide convenient high-speed data transmission in the short term, helping to realize the system. basic communication. “

It remains to be seen if the results will be confirmed and how expensive it would be to implement, but given the huge increase in speed, this is sure to catch on, especially in tech-savvy countries like Japan. Soon, existing internet speeds will soon appear primitive.

So why would you use 319 terabits per second?

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