Scientists are working on making fiber even faster

Network World reports on research that’s happening to make fiber better. It’s fun to hear what’s happening on the top end of broadband but it really shine a light on the need to catch up with lower end.

The issue with fiber…

Signal noise and distortion have always been behind the limits to traditional (and pretty inefficient) fiber transmission. They’re the main reason data-send distance and capacity are restricted using the technology. Experts believe, however, that if the noise that’s found in the amplifiers used for gaining distance could be cleaned up and the signal distortion inherent in the fiber itself could be eliminated, fiber could become more efficient and less costly to implement.

An emerging solution…

The researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Tallinn University of Technology said they can now send data 4,000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles) — or roughly the air-travel distance from Los Angeles to New York.

The team is using special, phase-sensitive amplifiers that handle both the noise and the distortion. The special amplifier functions using multiple pulses of different, very bright, compressed colors, polarized and then formatted into time division multiplexing, Chris Lee of Ars Technica explains in coverage of the research.

And they’re working on greater capacity…

In more progress, another group has been concentrating on increasing the amount of data the fiber can carry. That multi-scientist team, from DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark, said it can show that it can pump 661 terabits per second down a piece of fiber. That’s “equivalent to more than the total Internet traffic today,” the publication Nature explains in an abstract on its website.

This entry was posted in FTTH, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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