Solving the internet capacity crunch: First demonstration of a multicore fiber network

Oct 08, 2013

With optical fibre networks gradually approaching their theoretical capacity limits, new types of fibres such as multicore fibres have been at the focus of worldwide research to overcome critical capacity barriers, which threaten the evolution of the Internet. The University of Bristol in collaboration with the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have demonstrated successfully for the first time a multicore fibre-based network, which will form the foundation for the future Internet infrastructure.

The research relies on Space Division Multiplexed (SDM) provided by the multicore fibres and on Software Defined Network (SDN) control, which are considered promising solutions to fulfil and control the ever-increasing demand for data consumption in communication networks.

This collaborative work between the High Performance Networks Group at Bristol and NICT, Japan, represents the first successful demonstration of a fully functional multicore fibre network taking advantage of the flexibility and intelligence that SDN can offer in order to provide services to emerging Internet applications such as global cloud computing.

The Bristol research team developed the SDN control based on extensions of the OpenFlow protocol and provided the novel network node equipment while NICT contributed multicore fibres (MCFs) and new transmission techniques based on self-homodyne detection (SHD).

The implemented OpenFlow interface dynamically configures the network nodes in a way that the network can deal more effectively with application specific traffic requirements such as bandwidth and Quality of Transport.

With the growing popularity of OpenFlow, this demonstration is believed to bring multicore fibre networks one big step closer to their practical realisation.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Head of the High Performance Networks Group at the University of Bristol, said: "Although most on-going research has been concentrating solely on the improvement of data throughput and transmission distance of point-to-point links, it has become apparent that the success of new fibre technologies will be strongly governed by its applicability to optical networks together with an adequate control of all required network functions.

"From the viewpoint of network control, Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been recently gaining increasingly attention as a technology that enables network operators to easily adapt their network infrastructure to quickly changing user or application requirements and improve network efficiency. Up to now, however, SDN has been applied only to optical networks based on single-core fibres and therefore restricted to the capacity bottlenecks of the current fibre infrastructure."

In the future, Bristol and NICT hope to further improve their network technologies on both the software and hardware side and work with operators to demonstrate the practical realisation of multicore fibre networks.

Explore further: Making smartphone browsing 20% faster while reducing power consumption by 40%

More information: The results of the demonstration were selected for presentation as a prestigious Post-deadline paper at the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in London last month (September 26).

Related Stories

OpenFlow experimental facility to boost future ICT research

Aug 28, 2013

The explosion of high-tech devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones into the market and the subsequent rise in demand for greater bandwidth has resulted in a drive towards sophisticated network communications ...

Improving the flow of the fibre optic freeway

Mar 25, 2013

Monash University researchers have played a pivotal role in the invention of an energy-efficient method of increasing the data capacity of optical networks to the point where all of the world's internet traffic ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

15 hours ago

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings ...

US official: Auto safety agency under review

Oct 24, 2014

Transportation officials are reviewing the "safety culture" of the U.S. agency that oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized ...

Out-of-patience investors sell off Amazon

Oct 24, 2014

Amazon has long acted like an ideal customer on its own website: a freewheeling big spender with no worries about balancing a checkbook. Investors confident in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' invest-and-expand ...

Ebola.com domain sold for big payout

Oct 24, 2014

The owners of the website Ebola.com have scored a big payday with the outbreak of the epidemic, selling the domain for more than $200,000 in cash and stock.

Hacker gets prison for cyberattack stealing $9.4M

Oct 24, 2014

An Estonian man who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a 2008 cyberattack on a credit card processing company that enabled hackers to steal $9.4 million has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a federal judge in Atlanta.

Magic Leap moves beyond older lines of VR

Oct 24, 2014

Two messages from Magic Leap: Most of us know that a world with dragons and unicorns, elves and fairies is just a better world. The other message: Technology can be mindboggingly awesome. When the two ...

User comments : 0