New Fiber Cable Design Smashes Speed Records
Hollow Core Fiber Transmits at 73.7 Terabits Per Second
Researchers at the University of Southampton in England say they've developed a new type of optical fiber
that smashes all previously held bandwidth transmission records. The fibers are more hollow than traditional fiber, yet significantly faster at transmitting data; specifically they can transmit bandwidth at 73.7 terabits per second — roughly 1,000 times faster than today’s 40-gigabit fiber optic links -- and at lower latency:
The researchers overcame these issues by fundamentally improving the hollow core design, using an ultra-thin photonic-bandgap rim. This new design enables low loss (3.5 dB/km), wide bandwidth (160nm), and latency that blows the doors off normal optic fiber — light, and thus the data, really is travelling 31% faster down this new hollow fiber. To achieve the transmission rate of 73.7 terabits per second, the researchers used wave division multiplexing (WDM) to transmit 37 40-gigabit signals down the hollow fiber.
The downside? The cable's still see 3.5 dB/km loss and are only really ideal for shorter range runs.