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: Building the world's fastest downhill racer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Squeezed quantum communication

Sep 09, 2014

New prospects for secure data traffic: Flashes of light in particularly sensitive quantum states can be transmitted through the atmosphere.

Recommended for you

Tomorrow's degradable electronics

13 hours ago

When the FM frequencies are removed in Norway in 2017, all old-fashioned radios will become obsolete, leaving the biggest collection of redundant electronics ever seen – a mountain of waste weighing something ...

Building the world's fastest downhill racer

Nov 19, 2014

I'd like to say that it's not every day you get asked to try to break a world record with a speed-obsessed truck mechanic from Grimsby, but for us at the Centre for Sports Engineering Research it's starting ...

Recycling Styrofoam into rigid plastic

Nov 18, 2014

Mexican entrepreneurs designed the first machine in the nation capable of recycling Styrofoam (expanded polystyrene) and transforming it into a raw material used in the manufacture of transparent hard plastic.

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.