A group of researchers from University College London (UCL) has managed to reach a new record in internet speed: 178 Terabits per second, a speed equivalent to 178,000 Gbps. To achieve this feat, the head of the research, Lidia Galdino and her team, have to collaborate with Xtera and KDDI Research.
As reported by the educational center itself, “the record, which is twice the capacity of any system deployed in the world today.“
To achieve this, the researchers used much higher wavelengths than those commonly used in fiber optic cables and different amplification technologies, which have served to amplify the signal.
The current infrastructure uses a limited spectrum bandwidth of 4.5 THz up to 9 THz of the newer technologies. The researchers, this time, used a bandwidth of 16.8 THz.
To do this, “researchers combined different amplifier technologies needed to boost the signal power over this wider bandwidth and maximized speed by developing new Geometric Shaping (GS) constellations (patterns of signal combinations that make the best use of the phase, brightness and polarisation properties of the light), manipulating the properties of each individual wavelength.“
According to the research of this University College team, the system necessary to make the internet speed skyrocket would have a fairly inexpensive integration into the current internet infrastructure.
According to team members, upgrading or installing amplifiers every few distances would be much cheaper than installing new fiber optic cables. Thus, it would cost about $21,000 to place them between every 40 or 100 kilometers. Therefore, it would be a quite viable solution to help reduce the digital divide and increase the connection speed in a more than remarkable way.
“The interconnections of the data centers are capable of transporting 35 Terabits per second, we are working on new technologies that use the current infrastructure more efficiently, making better use of the fiber-optic bandwidth and allowing a new world record with a transmission rate of 178 Terabits per second,” said Galdino.