Danish researchers break fibre-optic data transfer record

43Tbps achived (with the help of NTT)


Researchers in Denmark have broken the record for the high-speed transmission of data across a fibre-optic cable.

Using a new type of optical fibre supplied by Japanese telecoms company NTT, the High-Speed Optical Communications (HSOC) team at DTU Fotonik transferred data at 43Tbps.

It was achieved using a single laser with a new type of optical fibre cable that contains seven cores made of glass instead of the single core used in standard fibres, allowing it to squeeze through more data.

The achievement smashes the previous record set by the German research team at the Karlsruhe Institut fur Technologie, which stood at 32Tbps.

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Researchers at DTU first broke the 1Tbps barrier in March 2009 using a single laser. Their progress was swift, seeing that figure rise to 5.1Tbps five months later, going on to hit 9.5Tbps in 2011.

Data growth

In a statement, DTU said that its research in breaking the speed barrier was conducted with the rapid growth of traffic data on the internet in mind, which is estimated to be growing at 40-50% annually.

It also pointed to environmental factors, including emission linked to the total energy consumption of the internet, which corresponds to more than two per cent of global man-made carbon emissions, placing the internet on a part with the transport industry.