Micro-Comb Chip Test Yields Data Rates of 44.2 Terabits Per Second From Single Light Source

TL;DR: “Ultra-dense optical data transmission over standard fibre with a single chip source,” published on May 22, 2020 in Nature Communications, claims engineers from Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada were able to test a tiny chip known as a micro-comb to yield eye-popping download speeds at peak periods.

Micro-Comb Chip Test Yields Data Rates of 44.2 Terabits Per Second

Nature Communications part of the prestigious Nature franchise, functioning as a peer-reviewed open access multidisciplinary scientific journal: physics, chemistry, earth sciences, medicine, and biology. Its influence or impact factor among the academic world is around a 11.880, which is fairly solid all things considered.

A recent paper of interest to cryptocurrency enthusiasts involved download speeds and a nano-device known as a micro-comb chip. Researchers are hoping its latest test results could pave the way for ubiquitously fast internet, allowing millions at peak times to consume data in a snap. Researchers explained how “by using a powerful class of micro-comb called soliton crystals, we achieve ultra-high data transmission over 75 km of standard optical fibre using a single integrated chip source. We demonstrate a line rate of 44.2 Terabits s−1 using the telecommunications C-band at 1550 nm with a spectral efficiency of 10.4 bits s−1 Hz−1.”

Fig. 1: Conceptual diagram of a soliton crystal micro-comb communications experiment.

The nearly decade-old lightweight technology improves upon the internet’s existing architecture, which means its development doesn’t require significant upheaval. Download times have come under increasing scrutiny as more people around the world rely on the internet for daily life, and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated concern about dramatic upticks in traffic.

Researchers connected their work to almost 50 miles of dark optic cables, finding the improved speed would allow for the download of a jaw-dropping 1,000 high definition movies in one second. And while that’s almost unbelievable in our present age of few hundred gigabytes per second, and probably not entirely practical at the moment, significant capacity will certainly mean profound implications for industries such as medicine, education, finance, even self-driving transportation navigation. For cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the mind boggles at such speeds when it comes to block propagation and transaction throughput just for starters.

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