An improvement in internet speed can now be experienced with the newly-developed world-first optical fibre that is as fine as a human hair.
According to a recent report, the fibre can transmit 1.2 petabit of data per second. This speed can be equated to 12 million times quicker than the fastest NBN connection. A Petabit is one thousand terabits
This was made possible by contributions from different collaborators. The dramatic improvement in speed was enabled by a coupler, developed by scientists from the Macquarie University Photonics Research Centre in Australia.
The fibre was jointly developed by Hokkaido University and Fujikura Ltd, while the transmission system was developed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Japan.
A plethora of developments have caused the internet data use to increase exponentially. These developments include on-demand streaming and artificial intelligence (AI).
This increase in data use is fast approaching the limits of existing communications networks.
Some of the research that were done on new types of optical fibre that can transmit ultra-large volumes of data, have to date, resulted in thick fibres that are prone to damage from bending and pulling.
The 4-core 3-mode fibre developed by Hokkaido University and Fujikura Ltd is almost the same width as existing standard optical fibres.
However, this fibre is able to transmit 12 times as much data per second.
Its narrower diameter means it is less prone to damage and can easily be cabled and connected using existing equipment.
This will result in significant cost-savings over other types of fibres.
The fibre has applications in transmitting data between data centres, metropolitan networks, or undersea communications cables.
More importantly, it has the ability to smoothly accommodate traffic for big data and 5G services.
The world’s insatiable demand for data means that a ‘capacity crunch’ is already being approached. Because of this, there is a need to find new methods to transport ever-larger volumes.
This newly-developed technology promises a solution to the bottleneck created by existing optical fibres.
For the first time, a realistic and useable-sized fibre that is resilient and can transport huge amounts of data was created.
In addition, it represents big savings in costs over installing the 12 standard optical fibres that will be needed to transport the same volume of data.
The Macquarie University Photonics Research Centre undertakes fundamental and applied research in the general area of lasers and photonics.
The centre has a substantial history of optics in Australia. It emerged from the Centre for Lasers and Applications.
It aims to elevate the international standing of scientific and technological research that has been well established at the University for many years.