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Multiplexing Technologies Unlock Ultra-High-Speed Optical Fiber Communication

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A team of researchers has achieved a groundbreaking data rate of 22.9 petabits per second (Pbps) using a solitary optical fiber. This represents a more than doubling of their previous world record of 10.66 Pbps. The breakthrough was made possible by the integration of cutting-edge multiplexing technologies, including large-scale Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) and multi-band Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).

SDM increases the capacity of optical fibers by using multiple optical paths (channels) within a common cladding. WDM further expands the transmission capacity by sending multiple data channels over the same fiber, each carried on a different wavelength of light.

The researchers’ achievement is a significant milestone in the development of ultra-high-speed optical communication networks. These networks are essential for supporting the growing demand for data traffic, which is driven by cloud computing, video streaming, and other data-intensive applications.

The research was presented at the 49th European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC 2023) in Antwerp, Belgium.

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