British researchers at the University College London set the record for the fastest data transfer rate: a mind-boggling 1.225 Tbps/second. That’s 50,000 faster than the average UK broadband (24 MBs/s) or just fast enough to download the entire Game of Thrones series in HD in just one freaking second.
The achievement was possible by using an optical communications system that combined multiple transmitter channels and a single receiver. Researchers set up fifteen different channels each carrying an optical signal of different wavelengths. By grouping these channels together a ‘super-channel’ was created By modulating the format and code rate for each channel, the researchers were able to maximize the data transfer rate.
Super-channels aren’t entirely new and have been used for a while to shuttle vast amounts of data between cities, countries and even continents. These can operate at up to 500 Gbps, employing multiple coherent carriers that are digitally combined to create an aggregate channel of a higher data rate on a single high-density line card that can be deployed in one operational cycle. UCL researchers happened to find the best way to encode the signals for maximum efficiency.
Lead researcher, Dr Robert Maher, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering, said: “While current state-of-the-art commercial optical transmission systems are capable of receiving single channel data rates of up to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s), we are working with sophisticated equipment in our lab to design the next generation core networking and communications systems that can handle data signals at rates in excess of 1 terabit per second (Tb/s).”
Also, it happens that the system the researchers used directly emitted signals into the single receiver. In real life, of course, this data would be shuttled across vast distances where interference is bound to happen. Still, very promising to hear that data can be transferred this fast.
Findings were reported in Scientific Reports.