In an impressive feat of technology, engineers from Copenhagen have discovered a way split a single laser beam into different wavelengths of light, which as a result, allows them to transmit data at almost twice the rate of combined internet traffic of the world per second. And what makes it even more amazing is that they were able to do it by just using a single optical chip and a laser.
The engineers, who are from Chalmers University of Technology and the Technical Univ. of Denmark, chose to fire an infrared laser through a “frequency comb,” otherwise known as a splitter, which divided the light into a variety of colors.
Each color, also considered frequencies, have the ability to carry data by changing or adjusting their amplitude, polarization and phase. Through this, they saw that the total amount of data that they managed to encode was 1.8 petabits per second – or 1.8 gigabytes – which was a whopping 800,000 more than the average global bandwidth of the entire internet.
The single optical chip that was designed by Chalmers managed to easily carry 1.8 Pbit/s. If using contemporary and advanced commercial equipment, it would need over 1,000 lasers to do the same.
Moreover, Professor Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe and his team also demonstrated that their technology is scalable too in their report. He shared, “Our calculations show that—with the single chip and a single laser—we will be able to transmit up to 100 Pbit/s.”
He also shared, “The reason for this is that our solution is scalable—both in terms of creating many frequencies and in terms of splitting the frequency comb into many spatial copies and then optically amplifying them, and using them as parallel sources with which we can transmit data.” He also said that this is a positive point for emissions targets too.
“In other words, our solution provides a potential for replacing hundreds of thousands of the lasers located at Internet hubs and data centers, all of which guzzle power and generate heat. We have an opportunity to contribute to achieving an Internet that leaves a smaller climate footprint,” he added.
Last May, a report from New Atlas shared that a 1.04 Pbits/s transmission record was completed in Japan with a different kinds of technology. Notably, Prof. Oxenløwe also shared that there are scientists, researchers and engineers all over the world are also working to make these types of internet capabilities a future reality.
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