Yes, you read it right! In a breakthrough, researchers have achieved the world’s fastest data transmission speed of 178 terabits per second (178,000,000 megabits per second). With such high-speed Internet connectivity, one can easily download the entire Netflix library including movies and TV shows in less than one second, at least theoretically.
Scientists achieve 178Tbps data speed
This has been achieved with the help of data transmission through what scientists describe as a “much wider range of colors of light,” going beyond the conventional range of optical fiber. As researchers explain, the existing infrastructure relies on a limited spectrum bandwidth of 4.5THz. However, researchers used a bandwidth of 16.8THz.
Researchers at the University College London (UCL) had to combine different amplifier technologies required to increase the signal power over this wider bandwidth. This way, researchers managed to maximize the data transfer speed, courtesy of new Geometric Shaping (GS) constellations, and the manipulation of properties of each wavelength.
It can be deployed on the existing network infrastructure by upgrading the amplifiers on optical fiber routes, which is cheaper than installing new optical fibers. With this achievement, UCL engineers have managed to break the previous world record set by Japanese engineers.
Dr. Lidia Galdino, a Lecturer at UCL and a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow said:
“While current state-of-the-art cloud data-center interconnections are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits a second, we are working with new technologies that utilize more efficiently the existing infrastructure, making better use of optical fiber bandwidth and enabling a world record transmission rate of 178 terabits a second.”
Both Internet consumption, as well as data demand, have increased exponentially over the last few years. Dr. Galdino further added:
“The development of new technologies is crucial to maintaining this trend towards lower costs while meeting future data rate demands that will continue to increase, with as yet unthought-of applications that will transform people’s lives.”
Well, the 178 Tbps Internet speed almost hits the theoretical limit of data transmission, which was set out in 1947 by American mathematician Claude Shannon. At this speed, engineers believe it would take not more than 60 minutes for someone to download the data that constitutes the world’s first image of a black hole.