Wouldn’t it be cool if you could download 1000 HD movies in a single second? That could be a reality in the further future. A research team led by Monash University’s Dr Bill Corcoran, RMIT’s Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell, and Swinburne’s Professor David Moss have set a new, blazing internet speed record of 44.2 terabits per second. What’s particularly noteworthy is that they managed this feat over existing fiber-optic technology.
The key to this experiment was a tiny optical chip called a micro-comb, which was used in place of traditional laser-based telecommunications hardware. “It acts like a rainbow made up of hundreds of high quality infrared lasers from a single chip, and each ‘laser’ has the capacity to be used as a separate communications channel,” explained RMIT University.
“Researchers placed the micro-comb – contributed by Swinburne University – onto the testbed optical fibres and sent maximum data down each channel, simulating peak internet usage, across 4THz of bandwidth.”
“Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fibre links with minimal cost,” Professor Arnan Mitchell Mitchell said.
“Initially, these would be attractive for ultra-high speed communications between data centres. However, we could imagine this technology becoming sufficiently low cost and compact that it could be deployed for commercial use by the general public in cities across the world.”