Image: geralt (Pixabay)

Japanese researchers with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) are the first to transmit data at the mind-blowing speed of 1.02 petabits per second. Being that one petabit equates to one million gigabits, this level of speed is effectively 100,000 times greater than even the fastest internet speeds currently available to consumers. The achievement is also notable in that the researchers hit 1.02 Pb/s using standard optical fiber cables, which should be compatible with existing infrastructure. One petabit per second is equivalent to 10 million channels of 8K broadcasting per second, according to the NICT.

Image: NICT

Researchers from the Network Research Institute at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, President: TOKUDA Hideyuki, Ph.D.) report the world’s first demonstration of more than 1 petabit per second in a multi-core fiber (MCF) with a standard diameter of 0.125 mm. The researchers, led by Benjamin J. Puttnam, constructed a transmission system that supports a record optical bandwidth exceeding 20 THz by exploiting wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology. It incorporates the commercially adopted optical fiber transmission windows known as C and L-bands and extends the transmission bandwidth to include also the recently explored S-band.

Source: NICT (via New Atlas)

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1 comment

  1. So that's ~130TB/s

    That's cool and all, but people always get excited when they hear stories like this, not realizing that researchers demonstrating something in a lab is very very different than us being anywhere near a usable marketable product.

    I may have recounted this story here on the forums, but I remember a story like this from a magazine I read in 1993 or 1994 or so.

    Researchers back then were excited about the promise of this new technology. NOR Flash and NAND flash had been invented in the early 80's and had just hit the market in 1988, but mostly in small reprogrammable ROM chip like applications. The authors of this article were talking about a broader application of the technology. It was like RAM, but nonvolatile, so you would be able to get RAM speeds from storage media like hard drives.

    It was very exciting. I fantasized about what could be done with such fast storage media.

    Only issue? It took almost 20 years after reading that story for this new flash RAM to not only become available on the market, but reach a price point where I could actually afford to buy my first SATA SSD.

    It was still pretty transformative when it arrived, but in the mean time, the speeds were adjusted down (in large part due to needing to function over the SATA interface at first) and the existing hard drive technologies had become faster in those almost 20 years as well, meaning that while still impressive, it was less of a bump in performance than it seemed it would be in 1993.

    This new fiber data transmission record sounds amazing, but a few things should be noted.

    1.) Getting something to work in a lab with researchers is very different than making a marketable product. This may or may not even work in the real world at all.
    2.) If it doesn't work, something else will, and will then eventually become the new standard.
    3.) When it does, this will be a decade out.
    4.) At first it will be very expensive specialty industrial stuff, used by ISP's for backbones etc. Eventually the tech will trickle down to the medium expensive Enterprise level, and then finally it might hit the consumer space.
    5.) When it does become available, other intermediate technologies will ahve raised the performace, so the upgrade to this new technology will seem like more of an evolutionary jump than it will a revolutionary leap.

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