Japan’s NICT Sets New Data Transmission Speed Record

Fiber optic
(Image credit: Pixabay)

Japanese researchers have set a new data transmission speed record, sending 1.02 petabits of data per second over fiber over a distance of 51.7 km. (32 miles). The feat doubles the most recent record, set a year ago when the same researchers sent 319 terabits per second over fiber using  wavelength division multiplexing technology.

Although the recent record was set in the lab of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Technology, the difference this time around is that the new record was achieved with technology compatible with existing cable infrastructure. NICT said the amount of data is equivalent to sending 127,500 GB of data every second, or as they characterized it, enough capacity for more than “10 million channels of 8K broadcasting per second," and 100,000 times faster than what is promised to be the next generation of high-speed GB connections to the home.

Researchers used wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology that allowed a record optical bandwidth exceeding 20 THz over a multi-core fiber (MCF) with a standard diameter of 0.125 mm. It incorporates the commercially adopted optical fiber transmission windows known as C and L-bands and extends the transmission bandwidth to include also the recently explored S-band. 

Two kinds of doped fiber amplifiers along with Raman amplification with pumps added in a novel multi-core pump combiner, enabled transmission of 801 wavelength channels over the 20 THz optical bandwidth,” NICT said in its announcement. “The large number of wavelength channels were transmitted in each core of a 4-core MCF that is notable for having the same cladding diameter as a standard optical fiber. 

“Such fibers are compatible with current cabling technologies and do not require the complex signal processing needed for unscrambling signals in multi-mode fibers, meaning conventional transceiver hardware may be used. 4-core MCFs are thought to be the most likely of the new advanced optical fibers for early commercial adoption,” NICT added. “This demonstration shows their information carrying potential and is a significant step toward the realization of backbone communication systems that supports the evolution of Beyond 5G information services. 

More information is available in NICT's press release

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.