A gigabit is not enough. New research takes us to 400Gbps.


This article was updated at 11:46 a.m. PT to correct the bandwidth measurement in the article’s excerpt and to clarify a statement about signal-to-noise ratio.

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs have devised a new way to transmit data super-fast over fiber cables: using “twin waves” of information rather than just one and them bringing them together when they arrive at their destination. The result cut down on signal distortion and led to rates of 400 Gbps across a record distance of 12,800 kilometers, or more than 7,900 miles, according to the research paper, published online Sunday by the journal Nature Photonics.

The pairing of signals in essence cancels out the ups and downs — peaks and troughs, in physics terms — of data. That means the signal-to-noise ratio improves, which lets fiber optic communications travel farther without more gear along the way to boost the signal. That’s a big…

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About melu160

Georgia native. MN State alumni current graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago.

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