How fast is your internet connection? The days of 56K modems – fortunately – are long gone for most of us. But before you get too bogged down with your gigabit fiber connection, take a look at what researchers at the Network Research Institute in Japan have done. Using a standard diameter fiber, they transfer data at a rate of 1 petabit per second.
A cladding of standard fiber has four spatial channels. Using wavelength division multiplexing, the researchers placed a total of 801 channels with a bandwidth of more than 20 THz. The distance to the fiber was more than 50 kilometers, so it was not just from one side of the lab to the other. Well if you look at the pictures it probably was, but with large spools of fiber between the two lab benches. The project uses three distinct bands for data transmission, including 335 channels in S-band, 200 channels in C-band and 266 channels in L-band.
To put it bluntly, a petabit – theoretically – can carry one million gigabits of Ethernet connection if you ignore the overhead and other disadvantages. But if it is closed by a factor of 10, it is still impressive. We can’t even imagine it being in people’s homes anytime soon, but it’s easy to use for major backhole networks that carry a lot of traffic.
We’re still surprised that we’ve moved from ALOHA to a 2.5-gigabit connection. While the Raspberry Pi can’t handle even a fraction of the bandwidth, you can fit it with a 10-gigabit network card.