Scientists successfully sent a newly developed data set at a speed of 1 petabit per second

  • Scientists at the Denmark Technical University developed technology allowing 1.8 petabits of data to be transmitted per second.
  • The technology used a single chip and a single optic laser to achieve the major feat.
  • Scientists believe this technology will be the stepping stone to providing environmentally sustainable internet services. 

Scientists at the Technical University of Denmark achieved a major feat by successfully designing and transmitting a data set at the speed of 1 petabit per second.

For reference purposes, 1 petabyte is equal to one million gigabits. In the study, the scientists were able to transfer 1.8 Pbit/s or twice the volume of all Internet traffic worldwide.

The technicalities of the study 

The study was jointly undertaken by an international team of researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Technical University of Denmark.

Published in the renowned Nature Photonics journal, the study is unique for multiple reasons. They became the first group on the planet to transfer such a large data set while utilizing just a single laser as well as a single optical chip.

Conventionally, a single chip containing 1.8 Pbit/s, would normally require over 1,000 lasers and other modern equipment for transmission.

However, by the efforts of Professor Victor Torres Company of the Chalmers University of Technology, the study was successful in utilizing a single laser itself.

Professor Torres exclaimed that the most unique feature of this chip is that it creates a frequency comb that has the perfect properties for fibre-optic communications.

It carries a high optical power for transmission and covers a wide bandwidth existing within the spectral region which might prove to be a boon for existing communication systems.

What is a frequency comb 

Light consists of a broad spectrum of colours and they travel in waves thus bearing a specific wavelength.

A Frequency Comb can measure an unknown amount of optical frequency by measuring the repetition rate of a continuous train of light pulses.

It refers to the idea or concept that each colour is associated with a specific frequency distance from one another, pretty much like the “teeth” of a comb are spaced out.

As a result of this, each colour or the associated frequency of that colour can be differentiated from one another and used to encode data.

This encoded data can then be sent via an optical fibre after the reassembling of its frequencies.

Scientists claim that immense amounts of data can be sent in this manner.

A boon in providing “clean” internet 

Leif Katsuo Oxenlwe, a professor at the Denmark Technical University and the director of the SPOC Center of Excellence for Silicon Photonics for Optical Communications, stated that he believes this technology is a potent step towards a brighter future.

Scientists believe that the technology developed in a single chip can be scaled up to provide internet to networks of households in the future.

Oxenlwe believes they can transmit up to 100 Pbit/s using a single device built by the team. Although further analysis is still necessary before the method can be used in the existing communication systems.

Furthermore, Oxenlwe states that this technology is a step towards providing sustainable internet services. The single laser being used by the chip allows the substitution of hundreds of lasers that are being used in Internet hubs and data centres.

These lasers all use a lot of power and produce heat thus causing environmental damage. Thus using the new technology will urge another way to help create a more environmentally friendly Internet.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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