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IPFS News Link • Internet

Record-breaking chip can transmit entire internet's traffic per second

•, By Michael Irving

Engineers have transmitted data at a blistering rate of 1.84 petabits per second (Pbit/s), almost twice the global internet traffic per second.

It's hard to overstate just how fast 1.84 Pbit/s really is. Your home internet is probably getting a few hundred megabits per second, or if you're really lucky, you might be on a 1-gigabit or even 10-gigabit connection – but 1 petabit is a million gigabits. It's more than 20 times faster than ESnet6, the upcoming upgrade to the scientific network used by the likes of NASA.

Even more impressive is the fact this new speed record was set using a single light source and a single optical chip. An infrared laser is beamed into a chip called a frequency comb that splits the light into hundreds of different frequencies, or colors. Data can then be encoded into the light by modulating the amplitude, phase and polarization of each of these frequencies, before recombining them into one beam and transmitting it through optical fiber.

In experiments, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Chalmers University of Technology used the setup to transmit data at 1.84 Pbit/s, encoded in 223 wavelength channels, down a 7.9-km-long (4.9-mile) optical fiber that contained 37 separate cores. For reference, the global internet bandwidth has been estimated at just shy of 1 Pbit/s, meaning this system could potentially handle all of that at once with plenty of room to grow.