Saturday, August 11, 2012

No. 586: A new technology to transmit 100 times more information than the existing technology in optical communication (August 11, 2012)

A research team led by Masataka Nakazawa of Tohoku University developed a new technology to centuple the communications traffic of an optical fiber line that connects major cities. The new technology is based on the optical wave pattern that an American researcher predicted mathematically more than 80 years ago. It increases information amount per optical fiber dramatically by modifying the optical signals that contain information to a unique wave pattern. A wave pattern has a big mountain that represents a signal, and the new technology adds a wave pattern that nulls its amplitude to the foundation of the mountain at regular intervals. It can increase information amount only by reinforcing the existing communications network.

The new technology can transmit 1 terabit per second that is 100 times more than the amount transmittable by the current technology for each wevelength. The research team experimented it using the standard optical fiber and light with a wevelength of 1.5 micrometers and found that information was transmitted correctly and precisely for a distance of 500 km. The basic trunks connecting major cities may suffer from communication failure in five years because the rapid spread of smartphones and cloud computing services has been increasing communications traffic of the optical fiber line by more than 40% annually. It is urgently required to increase communications traffic per optical fiber to avoid the possible failure. The research team plans to put the new technology into practical use in five years in alliance with private companies. 

Optical fibers. A new technology to increase the
communications traffic of an optical fiber is strongly desired.

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