Researchers in Japan have established a world record by demonstrating an internet speed of 319 terabits per second. A team of researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NIICT) performed the speed test using advanced fibre optic technology and a 4-core optical fibre with a classic outer diameter of 0.125 mm, breaking the record set of 178 Tb/s laid by engineers in Japan and Britain a year ago.
Researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NIICT) accomplished this feat by utilising existing optical fibre infrastructure, which consists of tiny tubes that transmit data by light. The team could sustain this pace for almost 3,000 kilometres while maintaining the bandwidth it produces with no performance reductions. The researchers expect this technology to be more advanced than the current 5G technology — more akin to 6G.
“The 4-core MCF with standard cladding diameter is attractive for early adoption of SDM fibres in high-throughput, long-distance links, since it is compatible with conventional cable infrastructure and expected to have mechanical reliability comparable to single-mode fibres,” the Japanese research institute said in a paper published earlier in July.
NICT emphasised the need of demonstrating how new fibres can address the apparent “explosive increase” in demand from new data services. The research institute also stated that the latest internet speed test results will aid in the development of new communication systems capable of supporting new “bandwidth-hungry services,” and that they will continue to investigate ways to increase the data transmission of “low-core-count multi-core fibres and other novel SDM fibres.”
NICT looped the data via coiled pieces of fibre optic that approximated a transmission distance of 3,001 kilometres or about 1,864 miles without signal or speed loss. To reach such high speeds, the researchers utilised a 552-channel comb laser that fired at several wavelengths and was driven via amplifiers constructed of rare earth materials. Nonetheless, the team thinks that the major innovation here is the novel 4-core optical fibre optic cable that it has produced.
It’s approximately the same size as a regular fibre optic cable, and NICT believes it could be readily integrated into current systems to provide a significant speed improvement. “The standard cladding diameter, 4-core optical fibre can be cabled with existing equipment and it is hoped that such fibres can enable practical high data-rate transmission in the near-term, contributing to the realization of the backbone communications system, necessary for the spread of new communication services Beyond 5G,” said the team in their paper.
The study was presented at the International Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, which took place virtually from June 6-11.