A WORLD RECORD data transfer speed of 1.125Tbps has been achieved by researchers at University College London (UCL). That's fast.
It’s so fast you could download an entire HD season of Game of Thrones in one second (presumably legally).
In fact, just to underline how fast this is Dr Robert Maher, from the UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering department, who led the research, laughed about out how much faster 1.125Tbps is than your pathetically slow broadband.
"This is almost 50,000 times greater than the average speed of a UK broadband connection of 24Mbps, which is the current speed defining ‘superfast’ broadband,” he scoffed.
Then, suddenly taking a serious tone that caught us off guard, Dr Maher pointed out how important the research could be for the future of the world.
"Current state-of-the-art commercial optical transmission systems are capable of receiving single channel data rates of up to 100Gbps, but we are working with sophisticated equipment in our lab to design the next-generation core networking and communications systems that can handle data signals at rates in excess of 1Tbps.”
The team set up 15 different optical channels to send data over what's called a 'super-channel' to achieve the speed, each channel using a different wavelength.
This information is collected and put together to make sense at the other end by a single receiver that has huge bandwidth capabilities to handle all the data arriving at once. This is called a 'super-receiver' because it's so awesome.
Dr Maher, now adopting a learned, scholarly tone, explained this in more detail. "Using high-bandwidth super-receivers enables us to receive an entire super-channel in one go," he said.
"Super-channels are becoming increasingly important for core optical communications systems which transfer bulk data flows between large cities, countries or even continents.
"However, using a single receiver varies the levels of performance of each optical sub-channel so we had to finely optimise the modulation format and code rate for each optical channel individually to maximise the net information data rate. This ultimately resulted in the greatest information rate ever recorded using a single receiver.”
The huge speed was generated in test conditions, but the researchers now plan to take the tech into the real world and try it over several kilometres.
This could prove whether the experiment is actually useful, as optical signals can become distorted as they travel through thousands of kilometres of optical fibre.
The speed was achieved during a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council called UNLocking the capacity of Optical Communications.
This is designed to find new ways to build optical network infrastructures that can support the huge rise of digital content and the cloud, and the future development of the Internet of Things. And download Game of Thrones in a second, of course. µ
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