Two groups develop 100 terabit fiber cable

May 02, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Working separately on two different types of technology, two groups have developed a type of fiber cable capable of delivering over 100 terabits of data per second; several orders of magnitude higher than anything currently in use. The first group figured out a way to shove more data into a single signal, while the second group created a fiber cable with multiple cores, rather than just the standard one.

Both teams reported their results at the Optical Fiber Communications Conference, held last month in Los Angeles.

The first team, led by Dayou Qian, of NEC, described the process by which he and his team were able to meld the data sent by 370 lasers into just one stream of pulses, which was then sent across 165 kilometers (541 feet) of fiber cable. This was made possible by giving the data from each its own unique part of the , with each employing differing polarities, amplitudes and phases to create the packets of code to be sent. With this method, they were able to move data at 101.7 Tbit/s.

Taking a far different, and perhaps simpler tact, Jun Sakaguchi and his team from Japan's NIICT described how they devised a means for creating a fiber cable comprised of 7 cores, each capable of carrying 15.6 Tbit/s; for a total throughput of 109 Tbit/s.

100 terabits per second is actually faster than anybody really needs right now; if you had it between you and your online video store, you could download three months of continuous viewing in just one second. It’s even more than is needed to carry all the data that traverses the backbone of the Internet; the busiest line, for example, between New York and Washington D.C. only moves something like a few terabits per second. Also, there is the problem of converting both new technologies into cost effective products, as both are complex in their own way. In the short term, it’s likely either or both will only be deployed on short distance high traffic areas such as huge data centers like those used by Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The real benefit for such new technology is likely be in the future; in a world where users would like to have hi-def, 3-D, live feeds from everywhere, movies and perhaps even some as yet unknown type of entertainment, and where our hunger for more drives data transfer rates across the Internet to grow by 50 percent every year. It’s not hard to contemplate a day when 100 terabits becomes normal as scientists go back to the lab to try to figure out a way to get that number even higher. Perhaps by combining these two new technologies?

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User comments : 9

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DMajor2
not rated yet May 02, 2011
I'll assume that's supposed to be 165 meters - not kilometers? Given the fact that 165 kilometers is around 100 miles, not 541 feet.

However, this is still awesome. 100 Tbit/s is insane.
_etabeta_
not rated yet May 02, 2011
"165 kilometers (541 feet)"
Somebody forgot 3 digits; 165 kilometers is 541338.58 feet
CarolinaScotsman
not rated yet May 02, 2011
And what would the through put be if the two methods were combined?
El_Nose
5 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
well the math is 101Tb ( first method on one core ) * 7 ( number of cores the seocnd method uses )

so about 707 Tb/s
Moebius
not rated yet May 02, 2011
Very nice but the real problem with this new fiber technology is the same as it was from the beginning. Fiber only works if you can install it and it took till recently to pull it everywhere. New types of fiber will not get pulled where it has already been installed for a very long time.

Hopefully improved transmission technologies will be able to function on our current installed fiber.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet May 02, 2011
well the math is 101Tb ( first method on one core ) * 7 ( number of cores the seocnd method uses )

so about 707 Tb/s


I figured the same.

I wonder what we'll be doing with this insane technology 20 to 30 years from now when it's fully installed nation wide or world wide?
fmfbrestel
not rated yet May 02, 2011
Well, the 7 core cable will have to wait a while before it is installed on long runs. The companies who put the current cable down need to be able to get a return on their investment first. But the more lasers per core could be implemented closer to near term, as the old cable can be used.

But like the article said, i would expect to see this used in big data centers first. Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple spend a lot of money developing top of the line data centers and every edge counts. These cables could be used to drastically reduce data center latency. For example, a 500ms latency creates noticeable lag when using google voice, or translation services. If this tech can remove a bottle neck for those services, you can bet it will get adopted.
Norezar
not rated yet May 02, 2011
707tb/s is crazy.

Wouldn't getting this on the major backbones be paramount to any other use, though?
fmfbrestel
not rated yet May 03, 2011
Wouldn't getting this on the major backbones be paramount to any other use, though?


Not right now, it is just more pipe then we need. in a few years? yeah, probably.

"Its even more than is needed to carry all the data that traverses the backbone of the Internet; the busiest line, for example, between New York and Washington D.C. only moves something like a few terabits per second."