We all want more internet power and now we may just get it. A single computer chip has transmitted a record 1.84 petabits of data per second via a fiber-optic cable, reported an article by the News Scientist on Thursday.
That amount exhibited enough bandwidth to download 230 million photographs in that time. The initiative was led by Asbjørn Arvad Jørgensen at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen.
It saw the use of a photonic chip, a microchip containing two or more photonic components which form a functioning circuit. This technology detects, generates, transports, and processes light to divide a stream of data into thousands of separate channels and transmit them all at once over 7.9 kilometers.
“First, the team split the data stream into 37 sections, each of which was sent down a separate core of the fibre-optic cable. Next, each of these channels was split into 223 data chunks that existed in individual slices of the electromagnetic spectrum. This 'frequency comb' of equidistant spikes of light across the spectrum allowed data to be transmitted in different colours at the same time without interfering with each other, massively increasing the capacity of each core,” explained New Scientist.
In the past, we have witnessed data transfer rates of up to 10.66 petabits per second but they were created through the use of bulky inefficient and impractical equipment. This new and improved research sets a record for transmission using a single computer chip as a light source. The technology could see energy costs significantly slashed and bandwidths severely increased.
The experiment used so much data that no computer today exists that could supply or receive this much information at this rate. The team had to therefore pass “dummy data” through all channels, says Jørgensen, and experiment on the output one channel at a time to ensure that it was all being sent and recovered adequately.
“You could say the average internet traffic in the world is about a petabit per second. What we transmit is two times that,” says Jørgensen. “It’s an incredibly large amount of data that we’re sending through, essentially, less than a square millimeter [of cable]. It just goes to show that we can go so much further than we are today with internet connections.”
The chip is not yet complete. It still needs a single laser and devices to encode data into each of the output streams. But Jørgensen claims both these elements could be integrated onto the chip itself. This would make the new entire apparatus about the size of a mere matchbox, making it very practical for daily use.
Jørgensen further adds that his team's new device could transmit as much data as 8251 matchbox-sized devices currently can. The invention could forever change how we consume data and how we execute all kinds of tasks in computing.
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New chip transmits a record breaking 1.84 petabits of data per second – Interesting Engineering