Tech News

Fiber Optics way better than anyone originally thought

Fiber Optics way better than anyone originally thought

fiber optics better 2015 imagesFiber optics already produce ridiculously fast speeds when it comes to data transfer but the technology does have its weaknesses. With the amounts of data that is sent around the world every day fiber optics still faces a big challenge to transport data effectively and efficiently.

In particular fiber optics fall short when it comes to transferring data over long distances. Although data is theoretically being transported at the speed of light the reality is that the means of transport is imperfect and the data has to be regenerated every 60 miles. The regeneration process involves the conversion of data packets from light waves to electricity and then back again. The reason for this is due to the fact that the signal deteriorates as it is sent down the glass fibers that make up the fiber optic cable.

Despite this requirement to regenerate the signal every 60 miles the speed at which we can transfer data over fiber optics and even over very long distances is still astonishing. We can currently transfer data over fiber optic cable at over 14 Tbit/s over long distances using amplification and when you consider that multiple fiber optic cables can be run in very confined spaces this can produce some seriously hefty bandwidth.

However, with the constant increase in data requirements and as more and more devices are becoming internet connected we need new and faster ways of transferring data.

Towards this goal researchers have been working on ways to make the transmission of light waves more effective. In particular they have been looking for ways to increase the distances over which the data can be transmitted before it requires amplification.

Scientists have recently seen some significant success in these efforts and have produced their findings in a report in Science. The report details a new way in which data can be transferred over fiber optic cable and is described as a way to “predestort” data by using a frequency comb. This method uses signals that are precisely spaced out to act as a unique identifier for the data. Sort of like in build error correction for fiber optics. This allows the data to be sent over far greater distances and still be readable at the other end. The fact that the data shows far less deterioration means that it can be sent over long distances without the need for re-amplification. Ultimately this means that far larger amounts of data can be sent at increased speeds.

Researchers have in fact shown that data has been sent over fiber optics using this new method and did not require any regeneration up to a distance of 7400 miles.

The findings are still considered to be research rather than anything that has a current practical implementation and Alan Huang, a former researcher at Bell Labs has advised that there are many real world hurdles to overcome before it could be introduced as a viable means of data transfer over fiber optics.

Despite these concerns it is most definitely a leap in technology and a clear sign that the capabilities of fiber optics are far from realised through presently available technologies.

It is very likely that as we see more and more internet connected devices the need for faster data transfer speeds will increase. In addition to this with everything being provided over the cloud fiber optic lines are likely to become more and more congested which will only act as an enforcer to this increased need for bandwidth. These needs are likely to facilitate more research into fiber optic communications and we could well see even greater speeds and over greater distances being achieved within the next decade.

Tech News
@davids356

David is a practicing systems administrator by day at qwertyitservices.co.uk, but by night he lets loose all his tech expertise on our site.

More in Tech News

ajit pai fcc wants to kill net neutrality finally

Net neutrality back under fire from Donald Trump administration

Jeffrey LangApril 27, 2017
animal boxing game dx

What I’m Playing Now: Table Top Racing, Animal Boxing and Far Cry 4 still

Max SmithApril 22, 2017
samsung galaxy s8 gives you more of everything 2017 images

Samsung Galaxy S8 gives you more of everything

Jeffrey LangApril 20, 2017
snes classic mini coming for holiday season 2017

SNES Classic Mini: Nintendo’s Second Cash Cow or Frustrating Bull to Gore Fans?

Marius MaronillaApril 20, 2017
what im paying now far cry 4 zelda wind waker and sports champions 2017 images

What I’m Playing Now: Far Cry 4, Zelda Wind Waker and Sports Champions

Max SmithApril 19, 2017
Microsoft to Take on Chromebooks 2017 images

Microsoft to Take on Chromebooks

Marius MaronillaApril 19, 2017
cortana pi and minty pi 2017 images

Cortana Pi and Minty Pi

Marius MaronillaApril 18, 2017
nintendo feeds eight bit nostalgia with two bit decision on nes classic edition 2017 images

Nintendo feeds eight-bit nostalgia then kills it with two-bit decision

Marius MaronillaApril 17, 2017
austin russell luminar bringing safety to self driving cars 2017 images

Austin Russell’s Luminar bringing safety to self-driving cars

Jackie WarnerApril 13, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription