Huge fat pipe squirts mighty streams

Magnificent 35-kilowrist performance


An allied team of boffins based in Blighty, Germany, Switzerland and Israel say they have broken the record for data transmission rate from a single light source, using just one laser to send info at a blistering 26 terabits per second.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest line rate ever encoded onto a single light source," write the scientists, with pardonable smugness.

Even greater data rates have been achieved down a single fibre, but the trouble with these previous efforts is that they require the use of many lasers all squirting light into the pipe at different frequencies (colours). This means a lot of kit and a lot of power consumption.

The new technique involves using just one laser to create hundreds of colours at once, all of which can carry a stream of information. The data is combined and then separated out again at the other end using optical methods to implement a tricky piece of mathematics - the Fourier transform which some readers may recall from university days - extremely fast.

The scientists carrying out the experiment consider that pipe of multiterabit fatness will soon be routinely required by "new services such as cloud computing, three-dimensional high-definition television and virtual-reality applications". They think that their Fourier-transform rig could perhaps be integrated onto a chip, so making it a candidate for commercial use.

As the Beeb notes:

At those speeds, the entire Library of Congress collections could be sent down an optical fibre in 10 seconds.

But that's not what the internet of the future will be used for. It will, like the internet of today, probably be used mainly for pornography.

So: just how much smut could be handled by the new, unprecedentedly fat pipe?

Well, it's difficult to say in terms of hi-def 3D as there isn't much such content about yet. Let's instead go with a demanding present-day format: uncompressed 1080p HD video, which requires 746 megabits/sec. The profs' single laser, employed as a smut hose, would thus be able to simultaneously satisfy the demands of no less than 34,852 filth-hungry onanists - it is a 34.8 kilowrist pipe, in Reg units.

That's impressive.

The boffinry writeup on the new tech can be found here (subscription required) published by Nature Photonics. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims
    Fine-print crucially deemed contractual agreement as well as copyright license in smartTV source-code case

    The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has won a significant legal victory in its ongoing effort to force Vizio to publish the source code of its SmartCast TV software, which is said to contain GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components.

    SFC sued Vizio, claiming it was in breach of contract by failing to obey the terms of the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 licenses that require source code to be made public when certain conditions are met, and sought declaratory relief on behalf of Vizio TV owners. SFC wanted its breach-of-contract arguments to be heard by the Orange County Superior Court in California, though Vizio kicked the matter up to the district court level in central California where it hoped to avoid the contract issue and defend its corner using just federal copyright law.

    On Friday, Federal District Judge Josephine Staton sided with SFC and granted its motion to send its lawsuit back to superior court. To do so, Judge Staton had to decide whether or not the federal Copyright Act preempted the SFC's breach-of-contract allegations; in the end, she decided it didn't.

    Continue reading
  • US brings first-of-its-kind criminal charges of Bitcoin-based sanctions-busting
    Citizen allegedly moved $10m-plus in BTC into banned nation

    US prosecutors have accused an American citizen of illegally funneling more than $10 million in Bitcoin into an economically sanctioned country.

    It's said the resulting criminal charges of sanctions busting through the use of cryptocurrency are the first of their kind to be brought in the US.

    Under the United States' International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEA), it is illegal for a citizen or institution within the US to transfer funds, directly or indirectly, to a sanctioned country, such as Iran, Cuba, North Korea, or Russia. If there is evidence the IEEA was willfully violated, a criminal case should follow. If an individual or financial exchange was unwittingly involved in evading sanctions, they may be subject to civil action. 

    Continue reading
  • Meta hires network chip guru from Intel: What does this mean for future silicon?
    Why be a customer when you can develop your own custom semiconductors

    Analysis Here's something that should raise eyebrows in the datacenter world: Facebook parent company Meta has hired a veteran networking chip engineer from Intel to lead silicon design efforts in the internet giant's infrastructure hardware engineering group.

    Jon Dama started as director of silicon in May for Meta's infrastructure hardware group, a role that has him "responsible for several design teams innovating the datacenter for scale," according to his LinkedIn profile. In a blurb, Dama indicated that a team is already in place at Meta, and he hopes to "scale the next several doublings of data processing" with them.

    Though we couldn't confirm it, we think it's likely that Dama is reporting to Alexis Bjorlin, Meta's vice president of infrastructure hardware who previously worked with Dama when she was general manager of Intel's Connectivity group before serving a two-year stint at Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022