The nice thing about fibre optics is that there’s a lot of room for data transmission speeds to grow — but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges to be met. New research has unveiled a technique for minimising optical data signal interference that could improve the performance of long distance optical communications links by a factor of ten.
The paper, titled “Phase-conjugated twin waves for communication beyond the Kerr nonlinearity limit” is reported in Nature Photonics, and details a method where, instead of encoding the data on a single light beam, it’s instead transmitted as two beams that were effectively mirror images of each other.
The upside of this approach is that, according to the research, as distortion happens along the cable, it happens in parallel but opposite directions, which means that when the signal reaches its terminus and is combined, the distortion is effectively cancelled out. The configuration reportedly allows up to a 400Gbit/s data transmission channel using eight pairs of twin beams to be sent over 12,800km.
That’s neat research, although, like the recent Samsung “5G” reporting, it’s still research; it’s not something that’ll be rolled into, say, a continent spanning fibre broadband network tomorrow. Although clearly, it’d be nice if it could be.
Source: Nature Photonics
Image: Rob Pongsajapan