Researchers have announced an advance that could double the capacity of fiber-optic circuits, potentially opening the way for networks to carry more data over long distances while significantly reducing their cost.
Writing in the journal Science on Thursday, electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego proposed a way to extend the range that beams of laser light in fiber-optic glass wires can travel and, in theory, achieve that dramatic improvement.
One way to understand the challenge of sending data through fiber-optic circuits is to imagine a person shouting to someone else down a long corridor. As the listener moves farther away, the words become fainter and more difficult to discern as they echo off the walls.
A similar challenge confronts the designers of networks that carry data. Beams of laser light packed densely in fiber-optic glass wires need to be both amplified and recreated at regular intervals to send them thousands of miles. The process of converting the optical ones from light to electricity and then back again roughly every 60 miles is a significant part of the cost of these networks. The process also limits how much data they can carry.
In its report, the group described a way to “predistort” the data that is transmitted via laser beams so that it can be deciphered easily over great distances.
This is done by creating, in effect, guardrails for the light beams with a device known as a frequency comb — using very precise and evenly spaced signals — to encode the information before it is transmitted.
That has the effect of embedding a digital watermark in the original data, making it possible to transmit data accurately over much longer distances and dispense with the need to perform optical-to-electronic conversions at relatively short intervals.
The researchers said they had set a transmission record for a fiber-optic message, sending it more than 7,400 miles in a laboratory experiment without having to regenerate the signal. That experiment is not discussed in the just-published paper.
The research, which has been supported in part by Google and Sumitomo Electric Industries, a maker of fiber-optic cables, is a step closer to the vision of an “all-optical network,” according to Nikola Alic, one of the authors of the paper and a research scientist in the Photonics Laboratory of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technologies at the University of California, San Diego.
Such a network would be significantly less expensive and could carry more data. So far, the researchers have been able to increase the power of the lasers twentyfold to achieve transmissions over far greater distances, he said. Until now, increasing the power of the laser signal in current fiber-optic networks has been analogous to moving in quicksand — the more you increase the power, the greater the challenge of interference and distortion.
“The more you struggle, the worse off you are,” Mr. Alic said.
Bart Stuck, a venture capitalist at Signal Lake Management and a former Bell Laboratories scientist who conducted research in signal processing, said of the new paper, “This is great engineering.”
Similar ideas were used in an earlier era of communications, he noted. Although the concept was used in the world of analog voice communications, the U.C. San Diego researchers have pushed the ideas into the optical communications world.
“Their contribution is doing this at gigabits per second,” Mr. Stuck said.
Other optical scientists were more skeptical about the prospects for the new approach.
The Latest on: Fiber-optic circuits
via Google News
The Latest on: Fiber-optic circuits
- Global Optical Fibers Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) Splitters Market Report 2021on February 26, 2021 at 4:33 am
The "Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) Splitters for Optical Fibers Global Market Forecast & Analysis 2020-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Because of the impact on ...
- Global Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) Splitters for Optical Fibers Market Forecast & Analysis 2020-2030 with Q1,2021 Market Adjustment Due to COVID-19on February 25, 2021 at 2:27 am
Splitters for Optical Fibers Global Market Forecast & Analysis 2020-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Because of the impact on production, sales, shipment and ...
- Data transfer system connects silicon chips with a hair's-width cableon February 24, 2021 at 7:02 am
Researchers have developed a data transfer system that can transmit information 10 times faster than a USB. The new link pairs high-frequency silicon chips with a polymer cable as thin a strand of ...
- MVIP faces delay due to submarine cable damageon February 20, 2021 at 5:24 am
NGCP is working on a catch-up plan given the fragility of handling fiber optic submarine cables,” stated the company ... The project covers 184 circuit kilometers (ckm) of submarine cables and 526 ckm ...
- The feasibility of fiber: What other places have experienced with municipal-owned broadbandon February 19, 2021 at 4:30 am
Municipal-owned broadband networks provide communities options for faster, more reliable internet when providers can't or won't, experts say. However, officials in cities with municipal fiber say ...
- Mindanao-Visayas power grid link faces delayon February 19, 2021 at 12:13 am
NGCP is working on a catch-up plan, given the fragility of handling fiber optic submarine cables,” the system operator ... The project also covers 184 circuit kilometers (ckm) of submarine cables and ...
- VisMin grid project faces delay–NGCPon February 18, 2021 at 4:13 pm
NGCP is working on a catch-up plan given the fragility of handling fiber optic submarine cables ... It covers 184 circuit kilometers (ckm) of submarine cables and 526 ckm of overhead wires ...
- NGCP: Submarine cable damage seen to delay Mindanao-Visayas interconnectionon February 18, 2021 at 2:30 am
The Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) might not meet its target completion in December 2021 due to the damage sustained by several portions of its fiber optic cable connection. In a ...
- South Spanish Trail LLC Adds Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Equinix, and China Telecom Among Others as Defendants in $250 Million Globenet Lawsuiton February 17, 2021 at 7:03 am
South Spanish Trail LLC (SST), a Delray Beach-based real estate developer, has recently identified more than thirty technology companies currently using SST’s property to conduct business without any ...
- South Spanish Trail LLC Adds Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Equinix, and China Telecom Among Others as Defendants in $250 Million Globenet Lawsuiton February 17, 2021 at 6:09 am
SST's suit seeks damages in excess of $250 million, and injunctive relief, including the immediate removal of the fiber optic cables and ... in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.
via Bing News