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Scientists Reach 402,000 Gbps Internet Speeds Using Existing Fiber Tech


Monday, July 8, 2024

In a possible glimpse at future internet speeds, scientists in Japan recently powered a 402,000 Gbps connection using commercially available optical fiber.

The research comes from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), which has partnered with other labs to use existing optical fiber tech to deliver huge speed enhancements.

In March, one of NICT’s partners on the project, Aston University in the UK, beamed internet speed at 301,000 Gbps over a single, standard optical fiber. NICT has since followed up with another test, hitting 402,000.

The feat was achieved by harnessing additional wavelength bands—essentially colors—within the optical fibers to increase the data transmission rate. Specifically, NICT scientists tapped the O-, E-, and S-bands to amplify the data when the C- and L-bands are typically used for long-haul transmission over fiber networks.

The result enabled “a total of 1,505 wavelength channels” within the optical bandwidth. Each channel reached a data rate of more than 250Gbps. When all the wavelengths are combined, the experiment achieved a theoretical 402,000 Gbps internet speed over a 50-kilometer “water absorption peak suppressed optical fiber.”

To harness the additional wavelength bands, NICT developed six kinds of “doped fiber optical amplifiers,” which use a small amount of rare earth ions such as erbium, thulium, or bismuth ions. “Such amplifiers have significantly increased the fiber transmission range and allow amplification of many wavelength channels simultaneously,” the institute says.

There’s no word on when NICT will be able to commercialize the technology, though. The institute has partnered with Nokia Bell Labs and the Hong Kong-based firm Amonics to develop the optical fiber technology.

“NICT will also aim to extend the transmission range of such wideband, ultra-high-capacity systems and their compatibility for field deployed fibers,” the institute says.

By: DocMemory
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