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Boffins transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second

by on26 June 2012

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Twisted vortex beams

 A team of American and Israeli boffins have used twisted vortex beams to transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second.

This makes it about the fastest wireless network that we can think of. The technique is likely to be used in the next few years.

Twisted signals use orbital angular momentum to stuff more data into a single stream. WiFi, LTE, COFDM modulates the spin angular momentum of radio waves, not the angular momentum.

The boffins, Alan Willner and fellow researchers from the University of Southern California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tel Aviv University, twisted together eight ~300Gbps visible light data streams using orbital angular moment.  Each of the eight beams has a different level of twist.

The beams are bundled into two groups of four, which are passed through different polarization filters. One bundle of four is transmitted as a thin stream while the other four are transmitted around the outside.

The beam is then transmitted over open space (just one meter in this case), and untwisted and processed by the receiving end. 2.5 terabits per second is equivalent to 320 gigabytes per second, or around seven full Blu-ray movies per second. Needless to say there is a lot of porn that can be shifted on that sort of network.

Last modified on 26 June 2012
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