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New Record Fibre Optic Speed of 1.02Pbps Hit Over 51.7km

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 (9:36 am) - Score 4,488
Fiber optics network cable lights abstract background

A team of network researchers from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan has done it again after they achieved the “world’s first” successful data transmission of 1.02 Petabits per second (Pbs) in a standard cladding diameter (0.125 mm) multi-core fibre cable over a distance of 51.7km.

The eagle-eyed among you will promptly recall that NICT, which has a long-running history of setting new transmission records in the field of fibre optic broadband and data communications, previously hit a speed of 1.01Pbps in December 2020 (here). But there are a number of key differences between that test and the new one.

NOTE: 1 Petabit per second (Pbps) is equal to 1,000,000 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

The December 2020 result used a single-core cable with 15 fibre modes (multi-modes) – via the C + L wavelength bands – over a distance of just 23km. The setup for that harnessed 10THz of transmission bandwidth and a data-rate / spatial channel of 67.3Tbps (Terabits per second). But this required complex MIMO (Multiple-input-multiple-output) digital signal processing to unscramble the signals, which adds to the cost and development required.

By comparison, the new record was achieved without any MIMO (i.e. conventional transceiver hardware can be used) and harnessing a multi-core (4 core) cable (MCF) with just a single fibre mode – via the S + C + L bands (total of 801 wavelengths and 256QAM) – over a longer distance of 51.7km. The setup also harnessed 20THz of transmission bandwidth and a data-rate / spatial channel of 255Tbps (255Tbps x 4 cores = 1.02Pbps). A similar setup was used in June 2021 to transmit data over 3001km, albeit at a speed of 0.319Pbps.

NICT-Fibre-Optic-Speed-MCF-Cable

The cable being tested is, according to the research team, “thought to be the most likely of the new advanced optical fibres for early commercial adoption“, which makes this demonstration of their record-breaking capabilities all the more important.

Summary of Achievement

NICT constructed the transmission system using 4-core MCF with standard 0.125 mm cladding diameter, WDM technology and mixed optical amplification systems. The system allowed transmission of 1.02 petabit per second over 51.7 km. Previously, 610 terabit per second was achieved in a similar fiber but only using part of the S-band.

In this experiment, by broadening the Raman amplification bandwidth to the full S-band and using customized thulium-doped fiber amplifiers (TDFAs) for S-band and extended L-band erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs), we were able to use a record 20 THz optical spectrum with total of 801 x 25 GHz spaced wavelength channels, each with dual-polarization-256 QAM modulation for high spectral density in all wavelength bands.

The 4-core MCF with standard cladding diameter is attractive for early adoption of new space-division multiplexing (SDM) fibers in high-throughput and long-distance links since it is compatible with conventional cable infrastructure and expected to have mechanical reliability comparable to standard single-mode fibers.

Beyond 5G, an explosive increase of data traffic from new information and communication services is expected and it is therefore crucial to demonstrate how new fibers can meet this demand. It is hoped that this result will help the realization of new communication systems able to support new bandwidth hungry services.

All of this bodes well for our future data capacity needs, particularly over longer data links. The team are now looking to both further boost the speeds of such cables and to extend the transmission range. Credits to one of our readers (Robert) for spotting this news.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Clive peters says:

    So this was really through 4 fibre optic cables?

    1. Reece says:

      I believe its a single fibre, with 4 hollow cores inside for the light to pass through, rather than 4 individual fibres. with a single core. I may be wrong so i welcome corrections 🙂 so I think its still a single cable/fibre.

  2. Mark says:

    Writes angry message about it not being available where I live.

    1. An Engineer says:

      See how long it takes before someone claims to already have it connected to their house.

    2. Tony says:

      There are a few FB warriors already saying this, lol.

  3. Barney says:

    I can name a major cable provider who will be offering these speeds soon – but with a 50mbps upload rate

    1. Mark says:

      Ahh, virgin media. Gig1? They offered it to me for £32 a month. Wondering if I should take it?

  4. Harpal says:

    At one point when will underseas cables be replaced with these new fibre tech? Also how does this new fibre compares to the current fibres being installed throughout the UK? What’s the maximum speed our fibre cables can reach?

    1. An Engineer says:

      No-one knows what the current fibre can carry as improvements are being made all the time.

      This technology will be incorporated into subsea cables when it makes commercial sense. As of right now we aren’t even close to that point.

      Have to test every fibre run to have an accurate idea of what it can carry with today’s technology let alone what future technologies might be able to send down it.

      You can get an idea of this by looking at subsea cables built say 20 years ago, what their capacity was then and what they are actually carrying now on the same cable.

  5. William Grimsley says:

    Yes, maybe a new record, but why? Who needs that speed?

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