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Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

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Tech is perhaps five years away from actual deployment, we're told

Australian scientists say they have broken data communications speed records by shifting 44.2 terabits per second over 75km of glass fiber from a single optical chip.


The five-by-nine millimetre prototype gizmo is described as a micro-comb in a paper detailing its workings, published in Nature Communications on Friday. Light shone into the micro-comb is looped around a ring to produce 80 beams at various infrared wavelengths. Each beam carries a stream of data.


“The wavelengths produced from the chip are all correlated, so we can pack the individual data streams together very tightly, using almost all of the available spectrum,” Dr Bill Corcoran, first author of the study and a lecturer at Australia's Monash University, told The Register.


“This is where our 'ultradense' description comes from for the paper, it effectively shrinks down a rack of lasers into a chip to pack in as much data as possible.”


The team at Monash University, Swinburne University, and RMIT University, all Down Under, tested their chip by transmitting data over 75 kilometers of fiber optic cables to a receiver. The data here was “randomised test patterns” to stress-test the tech. The headline figure of 44.2Tbps is the raw bit rate, and adding overhead will slow it down, as the paper acknowledges:

We achieved a raw bitrate (line-rate) of 44.2 Tb/s, which translates to an achievable coded rate of 40.1 Tb/s (in B2B), dropping to 39.2 Tb/s and 39.0 Tb/s for the lab and field-trial transmission experiments, respectively.


“We used a next-generation optical modulation format with 500 gigabits-per-second per wavelength. With the 80 micro-comb wavelengths, this combined to form an optical super-channel, which added up to 40 terabits per second,” Corcoran said...............





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Yay Aussies! Wifi was pretty much invented here so there's a good history of networking advancements. Running 80 separate 500Gb/s data streams down a skinny piece of glass is mind-boggling.😲

I have been to all those places mentioned (Monash University, Swinburne University, and RMIT University), they are all in Melbourne my home city. Just visiting to work on concerts though rather than academic pursuits. 😄😎

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