Friday, 31 October 2014

255 Terabits per second over 7 multi core fibre optic cable achieved in Dutch lab

TU/e, CREOL researchers reach 255 Tbps over multi-core fiber October 30, 2014 Lightwave Staff  Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands and The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (CREOL) report in the journal Nature Photonics the successful transmission of 255 Tbps over multicore optical fibre. 

The new fibre has seven different cores through which light can travel, and each core can support three different spatial modes via spatial division multiplexing (SDM). Researchers are exploring SDM as a promising way to increase the capacity and reduce the costs of transmission systems in the future when the capacity of fibres in the ground has been exhausted. 

 The researchers described the innovation as "going from a one-way road to a seven-lane highway," adding that the use of multiple spatial modes is "as if three cars can drive on top of each other in the same lane." Combining those two methods increases the transmission capacity of the fibre by a factor of 21 compared to standard optical fibres that have only one single mode core. "This new type of fibre could be an answer to mitigating the impending optical transmission capacity crunch caused by the increasing bandwidth demand," the researchers said, via a press release. This is not the highest capacity reported to date over a single fibre. 

Last year, researchers from NEC and Corning claimed 1.05 Pbps transmission over a single optical fibre containing 12 singlemode and two multimode cores (see "NEC, Corning claim petabit transmission over a single optical fibre"). 

The Europe's MODE-GAP program, in which the COBRA Institute at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven is active, is also looking at SDM and various new fibre types (see "MODE-GAP project makes progress in mode-division multiplexing" and "Coriant transmits 57.6 Tbps via hollow core fibre, space-division multiplexing"). 

The Dutch and U.S. researchers believe their particular fibre design looks promising. "At less than 200 microns in diameter, this fibre does not take noticeably more space than conventional fibres already deployed," said Dr. Chigo Okonkwo, an assistant professor in the Electro-Optical Communications (ECO) research group at TU/e. "These remarkable results definitely give the possibility to achieve petabit-per-second transmission, which is the focus of the European Commission in the coming seven-year Horizon 2020 research program," he added.

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