TRANSNET researchers demonstrate record optical fibre transmission speed

Image of Fibre

A recent paper from the TRANSNET research programme has reported a record optical fibre transmission speed of 178.08 Terabits per second

In August 2020 the TRANSNET team published the results of an experiment that demonstrated the fastest transmission speed on record over a conventional single-mode optical fibre.

To achieve the result the team used over 16 THz of optical bandwidth to transmit some 660 channels, with data coded in specially-tailored patterns of possible signal combinations (geometric constellation shaping). The transmission fibre was provided by Corning, and was the Corning® SMF-28® ULL (ultra-low loss) fibre.

The UCL Optical Networks Group (ONG), in collaboration with UK undersea systems company Xtera and Japanese telecom carrier KDDI, showed that efficient use of the widest optical fibre bandwidth possible is the most effective way to increase optical fibre system capacity.

Applying the proposed approach to existing optical fibre infrastructure would lead to increased capacity while importantly minimising both costs and delivery time-scales for ultra high capacity networks. This highlights the potential impact of the work which can lead to the highest possible network capacity underpinning our ever-increasing digital communication infrastructure.

The goal of the TRANSNET programme is to transform optical networks for the cloud by introducing intelligence into the networks to deliver maximum capacity, when and where it is needed, the results of this paper demonstrate the vast progress the programme has already taken along this path.

The full paper is published in the Photonics Letters: Optical Fibre Capacity Optimisation via Continuous Bandwidth Amplification and Geometric Shaping, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. Volume: 32, Issue: 17, Sept.1, 2020.

An open-access version is available from UCL Discovery