When it comes to internet speeds, Australia continues to move forward when compared to international peers.
Researchers from the universities of Monash, Swinburne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), in Australia, achieved the highest data speed on the internet recorded so far from a single optical chip.
The team, led by Bill Corcoran, Arnan Mitchell and David Moss, achieved a speed of 44.2 terabits per second (Tbps) from a single light source. A technology that has the capacity to support billions of simultaneous high-speed internet connections.
The researchers reported that they achieved these speeds using the existing communications infrastructure using a new device that replaces 80 lasers with a single piece of equipment known as a “micro-comb”, smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware.
“With the covid-19 pandemic we are getting a taste of what the internet infrastructure will look like in two or three years, due to the unprecedented number of people who use it for remote work, socialization and streaming and what we are to see is that we need to be able to scale the capacity of our connections, “said Bill Corcoran, lead co-author of the study and professor of electrical and computer systems engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
“What our research demonstrates is the ability of the fibers we already have to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We have developed something scalable to meet future needs “, points out the expert.
Arnan Mitchell of RMIT stresses that achieving 44.2 Tbps speed, capable of downloading a thousand high definition films in a fraction of a second, shows the potential of the existing infrastructure. The expert reveals that the future ambition of the project is to increase current transmitters from hundreds of gigabytes per second to tens of terabytes per second without increasing their size, weight or cost.
“In the long term we hope to create integrated ‘photonic chips’ that allow this type of data volume to be achieved through existing fiber optic connections at minimal cost,” he stressed.
As for the use of this technology, the researcher explains that “it may initially be attractive for ultra high speed communications between data storage centers” but that its potential may even reach the general public if its cost is low enough and the technology is compact so it can be used commercially.