Scientists at Bell Labs have broken records with a new data transfer technique that allows up to 10 times the transmission rates over long distances.
The system has achieved speeds of 100 petabits per second per kilometre over a distance equivalent to that between Paris and Chicago. The technology will be used to lay much faster international data cables, and speed up the global network infrastructure.
"There is no question that this record breaking transmission is a milestone in achieving network capacity and speeds. It is also a key step forward in satisfying the ongoing explosion in demand," said Gee Rittenhouse, head of Bell Labs Research.
"This is a prime example of Bell Labs' pre-eminent research, and demonstrates the ability of our researchers to solve complex problems."
The technique uses standard Wavelength Division Multiplexing technology, but adds 155 lasers, each operating at a different frequency and carrying 100Gbit/s each.
Repeaters, spaced about 90km apart (about 20 per cent further than is currently used), are used to boost the signal and maintain clarity.
Bell Labs also designed receivers that can disentangle the data from the eventual signal contained in the light.
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