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Bell Labs doubles beams in fiber optic lines to reach 400Gbps on a global scale

Jon Fingas , @jonfingas
05.28.13
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It's comparatively easy to run fiber optic lines at high speeds; it's another matter to sustain that pace between continents. Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs has found a way to go that extreme distance by relying on the basic concept behind noise-cancelling headphones. When the researchers send data across two light beams in opposing phases, they can superimpose the signals and neutralize the distortion that would normally occur at long ranges. Such clean output lets Bell Labs ramp up the signal strength and maintain high speeds across whole oceans: its test pushed 400Gbps through 7,954 miles of fiber. There's no word on how soon we'll see twin-light technique put into practice, although we suspect that a networking giant like Alcatel-Lucent wants the extra bandwidth as quickly as possible.

[Image credit: JL Hopgood, Flickr]