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Japan's NTT claims it's built 1.2Tbit/s optical comms that sip power

Cloud and 5G mean the world needs beefier backbones and NTT thinks this could build them

Japan's NTT Corporation claims it has developed technologies that allow data transmission at 1.2Tbit/s per wavelength in an optical system.

As today's commercial kit delivers 100Gbit/s per wavelength, this is quite a breakthrough.

But wait, there's more: NTT reckons its tech reduces power consumption to less than 10 percent of existing products. And for an encore, if you need one, the company also claims it's figured out how to deliver high bandwidth 800Gbit/s comms over double the distance previously possible.

The company hasn't offered a lot of detail about its achievement, but described it as using "a digital coherent detection scheme, in which the polarization, amplitude, and phase of light are captured as digital data."

"The signal distortion that occurs in the optical fiber transmission channel and optoelectronic devices are compensated and equalized through advanced signal processing."

The tech requires a transceiver that includes a digital coherent signal processing circuit and a 140-Giga baud class optical device with the wide opto-electrical response bandwidth.

The digital coherent signal processing circuit combines what NTT describes as "cutting-edge coded modulation with transmission performance approaching the theoretical limit and newly developed forward error correction that can correct bit errors in large amounts of data with low power consumption."

The result is "flexible coded modulation that maximizes the potential of the high-speed optical devices" and that 1.2Tbit/s per wavelength headline speed.

The same techniques make it possible to extend 800Gbit/s comms.

NTT has not said when this tech will be productized. The company is optimistic it will find welcoming buyers given clouds and 5G networks' accelerating demand for data, but building more backbones to carry it isn't easy or cheap. Speeding up existing fibers is therefore likely to be very attractive.

"We will promote the creation of economical, large-capacity, low-power-consumption networks by leveraging advanced optical transmission systems based on the innovative technology," states NTT's reveal of its tech. "We also intend to collaborate with both international and domestic partners so that our developments can be valuable and beneficial for communities worldwide." ®

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