Latest in Science

Image credit: Lawrence Lawry

Terabit fiber optic speeds just came closer to reality

Nokia and Deutsche Telekom have managed 1Tbps in the field thanks to clever transmissions.
6569 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Lawrence Lawry

Sure, researchers have been showing off terabit data speeds in fiber optics for years, but they've seldom been practical. That exotic technology may work over long distances, but it can quickly fall apart when you throw typical network loads in the mix. However, it's about to become much more practical. Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom and the Technical University of Munich have shown off 1Tbps data speeds in a field trial that involved "real conditions," with varying channel conditions and traffic levels.

The secret was a new modulation technique, Probabilistic Constellation Shaping. Instead of using all the networking's constellation points (the "alphabet of the transmission") equally, like typical fiber, it prefers those points with lower amplitudes -- the ones that are less susceptible to noise. That helps transmissions reach up to 30 percent further, since you can adapt the transmission rate to fit the channel. It's so effective that the team got close to the theoretical peak data speeds possible for the fiber connection.

You're likely not going to see these terabit fiber lines in regular use for a while, since there's a large gap between a field test and making commercially available lines. The timing might be ideal, mind you -- 5G cellular data is just gathering momentum, and telecoms will need gobs of bandwidth to cope with the increased demands. A realistic 1Tbps fiber option would make sure that the internet's wired backbones don't collapse under the load.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
6569 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Hitting the Books: How police tech reinforces America's racial segregation

Hitting the Books: How police tech reinforces America's racial segregation

View
Blackmagic’s ATEM Mini brings broadcast quality to your YouTube and Twitch streams

Blackmagic’s ATEM Mini brings broadcast quality to your YouTube and Twitch streams

View
The Morning After: One last update for Google Glass Explorer Edition

The Morning After: One last update for Google Glass Explorer Edition

View
Noir detective game 'Blacksad' will be out for consoles on December 10th

Noir detective game 'Blacksad' will be out for consoles on December 10th

View
Google is ending support for the Explorer Edition of Glass

Google is ending support for the Explorer Edition of Glass

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr