Data transport via fibre-optic network could be faster still

Dec 07, 2006

Due to the explosive growth in data transport the need for a greater utilisation of the bandwidth of fibre-optic networks is increasing. Dutch researcher Erwin Verdurmen examined how the transmission capacity of the glass fibre can be increased by a better use of the bandwidth. He succeeded in achieving a data transfer of 320 gigabits per second. That is much faster than the 15 Mb per second which the fastest Internet connection for private users can currently provide (connections at companies are about ten times faster).

An existing technology for increasing the bandwidth is 'wavelength division multiplexing' (WDM). In this approach the electrical data signals modulate different colours of light, which are combined in a single optical fibre. An alternative for WDM is combining several optical signal streams into a single stream of short pulses of a single colour of light: 'optical time division multiplexing' (OTDM).

Verdurmen' s research focused on the adding and extraction of a specific data stream from an OTDM signal. The component that performs this function is a so-called add-drop multiplexer (ADM). These ADMs can be subdivided into two categories. The first category is based on solutions that make use of semiconductor structures and the second category makes use of the nonlinearity of an optical fibre.

The application of the ADM technology on the basis of semiconductor material encountered the problem that the necessary higher input capacity led to a faster signal response but also a deterioration in the signal-noise ratio. The study therefore focused on ADMs that use the nonlinearity of optical fibres.

The advantage of using the nonlinearity of the optical fibre turned out to be an ultrafast response time. As a result of this Verdurmen succeeded in producing an ADM with a speed of 320 gigabits per second. According to Verdurmen, combining WDM and OTDM will lead to even higher speeds still in the future.

Source: NWO

Explore further: First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ESA delivers image from orbit via laser-based datalink

Dec 03, 2014

On 28 November, teams at ESA's Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, watched intently as the Agency's Sentinel-1 and Inmarsat's Alphasat linked up using laser signals stretching almost 36 ...

New research lights the way to super-fast computers

Nov 07, 2014

New research published today in the journal Nature Communications, has demonstrated how glass can be manipulated to create a material that will allow computers to transfer information using light. This development could ...

Recommended for you

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

29 minutes ago

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

First drone in Nevada test program crashes in demo

17 hours ago

A drone testing program in Nevada is off to a bumpy start after the first unmanned aircraft authorized to fly without Federal Aviation Administration supervision crashed during a ceremony in Boulder City.

Fully automated: Thousands of blood samples every hour

Dec 19, 2014

Siemens is supplying automation technology for the longest and one of the most cutting-edge sample processing lines in any clinical laboratory. The line, or automation track, 200 meters long, in Marlborough, ...

Explainer: What is 4-D printing?

Dec 19, 2014

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it's found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can p ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.