Published in Network

Japan hits broadband record

by on01 July 2024

402 terabits per second down fibre optic cables

Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT has achieved a staggering data transfer rate of  402 terabits per second (Tb/s)  over commercially available optical fibre cables.

The groundbreaking feat was detailed in a paper presented at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference 2024 in San Diego. Kudos to the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies and Nokia Bell Labs for their contributions.

NICT and its partners transmitted signals through 1,505 channels across a  50 km stretch of optical fibre. The secret sauce combined six amplifier types and an optical gain equaliser tapping into the unused 37 THz bandwidth.

Among the amplifiers showcased was a thulium-based doped fibre amplifier operating in the C-band or C+L band systems. Additionally,  semiconductor optical amplifiers and  Raman amplifiers achieved a  256 Tb/s data rate across nearly 20 THz.

Other amplifiers contributed to a cumulative bandwidth of  25 THz, resulting in an impressive  119 Tb/s data rate.

The experiment's maximum result exceeded the previous data rate capacity by over 25 per cent, while transmission bandwidth increased by  35 per cent. Remarkably, this achievement relies on existing technology used by internet service providers.

These findings hint at a potentially extended lifespan for current technology. However, they also underscore the need for expanding fibre optic deployment with new-generation optical cables and systems.

The demonstration highlights that existing WDM technology can cover major transmissions and deliver high speeds using unexplored frequency bands.

While boffins continually break data speed records,  new cable types and hardware upgrades are essential. Deploying significant enhancements remains challenging for nationwide, regional, and local providers still reliant on copper-based cables.

Achievable speeds through commercially available cables could pave the way for a new generation of internet services. Organisations like NICT will continue researching amplification methods and wideband compatibility with existing infrastructure.

Last modified on 01 July 2024
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