Researchers based at the Australian universities of Monash, Swinburne and RMIT say they have set a new Internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps, according to an article published in the open access journal Nature Communications.
Theoretically, it’s fast enough to download content from over 50 100GB Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs in a single second.
What is interesting about the research is that more than 75 km of standard fiber optics was achieved using a single integrated chip source, which means that it has the potential to one day benefit the existing fiber infrastructure.
The fiber test connection was run between RMIT’s Melbourne City campus and Monash University’s Clayton campus, and researchers say it reflects the infrastructure used by Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The findings represent a “world record for bandwidth,” according to Swinburne University professor David Moss, one of the team’s responsible members.
“What our research shows is the ability of the fibers we already have in the field, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communication networks now and in the future. We have developed something that is scalable to meet future needs, “said study co-author and Monash University professor Bill Corcoran.
Those speeds were achieved, thanks to a piece of technology called a micro-comb, which offers a more efficient and compact way to transmit data. This micro-comb was placed inside the fibers of the cable in what the researchers say is the first time the technology has been used in a field test.
Now the researchers say the challenge is to turn the technology into something that can be used with existing infrastructure. “In the long term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that can achieve this type of data rate on existing fiber optic links at minimal cost,” says RMIT professor Arnan Mitchell.
However, it is unlikely that you will download games or play movies over a 44.2Tbps connection soon. If the technology ends up being commercialized, the researchers say it is likely to be used first to connect data centers.
After all, gigabit internet connections have been around for years, and it’s still relatively rare to see them in residential homes. But if the technology becomes cheap enough, the researchers hope that one day it can be used by the general public.