In Japan, a group of researchers managed to break the speed record at which data transmissions can be made using fiber optic cables, it was reported that a speed of 1.02 petabits per second was reached through a network of 51.7 kilometers.
It was at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) that the group of scientists was able to output information at a speed never before achieved and using fiber optic cables that are compatible with today’s infrastructure.
To put the speeds reached in context, in the multiples of bits there are kilobits, then megabits, then gigabits, terabits and then, petabits (although there are units higher than petabits).
This power achieved would be enough to transmit 10 million channels per second of video with an 8K resolution. In addition, it is estimated that it is 100 thousand times faster than the most powerful domestic internet connections currently available on the market, and even higher than the Esnet6 implemented by NASA, which is expected to be launched in 2023 achieving a speed of 400GB per second.
As expected, certain adaptations are needed in the optical fiber to achieve these speeds and the secret is that, instead of having only one core as in traditional cables, the researchers from Japan used four cores, in addition to the transmission bandwidth was extended to 20 THz through the use of a technology named as wavelength division multiplexing.
Similarly, with this bandwidth, 801 wavelength channels can be used in three different bands. It should be noted that in this invention the cable size was not modified and the data can be read by the technology that is used today.
In recent years, NICT researchers have focused on improving data transmission speeds, in 2020 they reached 1.01 PB/s, in addition to also having a record in internet speed of 319 Tbps.