Japan announced that an engineering team from the National Institute of Information and Communication technology research group set a new record for internet speed at 319 Terabits per second (Tb/s). This new figure almost doubles the previous world record.
In 2020, the UK and Japanese engineers partnered to break the world record, achieving a speed of 178 Tb/s.
However, the 2020 record is overshadowed by this massive jump. The team at NICT managed to hit this milestone using optic fibres, innovative tubes that transfer information using light, which is what’s needed to achieve a record like that.
A special rig
Regular copper cables, which are still prevalent, cannot carry such speeds without requiring overly complex infrastructure to work. This record required the team to make special additions to a run-of-the-mill fibre-optic setup. What they did is only familiar to educated engineers working with laser and other highly skilled individuals.
The submission paper says that the team recirculated the transmission of “552 x 25 GHz spaced channels covering >120 nm of S, C, and L-bands in a 125μm diameter, 4-core fibre, measuring a decoded throughput of 319 Tb/s at 3001 km.”
A significant breakthrough
The team used a 552-channel comb laser to fire a variety of wavelengths that were later processed and amplified by new types of fibre amplifiers enhanced by erbium and thulium. This process was followed by Raman amplification to, more or less, complete the process.
While this may be a complex thing, the massive breakthrough in speed is something to marvel at. The team could carry the speed for over 3000 kilometres and maintain the bandwidth, without dropping performance. That kind of feat is insanely difficult to achieve.
The engineers have some good news for us since they mentioned that even regular fibre optic infrastructure should be able to support these speeds with a few modifications, hinting at a future with faster internet.