Although there are now ways to transmit data at astronomical rates, scientists are always looking for new, even faster ways to get data from one point to another. And recently, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden), recorded a new record.
1 petabit is 1 million gigabits
Using a single laser and a single optical chip, they managed to transmit data at a speed of 1.84 petabits per second, a new record. For information, a petabit is equivalent to 1 million gigabits. And that’s a huge amount of data, since according to a DTU publication, it’s double the entire global internet speed.
For comparison, your home internet connection has a speed of a few gigabits per second, at most. And the fastest internet connection, ESnet6, is at 46 terabits per second. It is reserved for American researchers.
What impact on the future of the internet?
The achievement of these researchers is the fact that they were able to transmit so much data using a single light source.
“All colors are fixed at a specific frequency distance from each other – just like the teeth of a comb – that’s why it’s called a frequency comb. Each color (or frequency) can then be isolated and used to print data. The frequencies can then be gathered and sent over an optical fiber, thus transmitting data. Even a huge volume of data, as the researchers discovered”explains the Danish university.
Result: the researchers were able to create a chip that can transmit data at a speed that normally requires the use of more than 1,000 lasers. And according to them, their research paves the way to reducing the infrastructure needed to propel the global internet.
An experimental technology that could integrate the network
According to Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, professor at DTU University, this new technology could one day integrate data centers and internet hubs. And thanks to this, it would be possible to reduce the carbon footprint of the network.
Moreover, the chip is scalable. And researchers are already considering an improved version that would be able to transmit data at 100 petabits per second. This would be possible by isolating even more frequencies.
In any case, in terms of data transmission (no internet speed, since we are still talking about experimental research), this is a new record. The previous one was 1 petabit per second. This feat was announced this year by a Japanese research center.