Japan reaches data transfer record: 1.02 petabits per second

Researchers in Japan accomplished the feat with fiber optics compatible with those used on the market.


Japan has broken a record again and has managed to transfer 1.02 petabits per second with a standard optical fiber .

The milestone has been achieved by a group of researchers from the Network Research Institute of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). They presented the results at the International Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) 2022.

almost like home

The world of communications took a huge leap from copper wires to fiber optics. The speed of data transmission multiplied, and it is the same infrastructure that allows you to make high-quality video calls and watch movies in 4K resolution .

In the lab, however, researchers are working on advanced fiber-optic cables that look like the one running into your house, but can support multiple propagation paths indoors. One of these methods involves the use of different transmission modes within a single core.

In December 2020, NICT researchers demonstrated petabit data transmission using 15 modes on a single core . However, for this transmission to work efficiently, the signal processing also needs to work in a MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) manner. What it means is that the signals are scrambled as they travel through the core and must now be decrypted by specialized equipment when they are received.

for the record

The NICT researchers used wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), where signals of different wavelengths are sent over the same medium. This allows more data to be transmitted at the same time over the same cable. This technology has been commercially exploited and fiber optic cable operators used the C and L bands to send their data.

Along with the use of these two bands, the NICT researchers also included the newly explored S-band during their test transmission. Using custom amplifiers for these bands, the researchers managed to send across 801 wavelengths and achieved a record optical bandwidth of 20 THz in a multicore fiber. The entire system transmitted data at a rate of 1.02 petabit per second over a distance of 52 kilometers.