A data transmission research team based in Germany, Switzerland and Israel has broken the record for data transmission speed from a single laser light source to send large chunks of data at an incredible 26 terabits per second. At that speed, you could transmit the whole contents of the U.S. Library of Congress at an astonishing rate of just ten seconds.
“This is we think the fastest speed and data throughput ever encoded onto a single laser light source,” wrote the scientists.Greater data rates have been achieved in the past down a single fibre, but the issue with these previous efforts is that they required the use of numerous lasers sending light into the fibre and at different frequencies. That meant a lot of complex and expensive equipment and a larger power consumption, even if it is true that lasers take less energy to operate than other forms of light.

You can achieve different frequencies in a laser by simply changing the color of the light transmitted into the fibre. The new technique involves using just one laser to create hundreds of colours at once, all of which can carry a different and unique stream of data.

The information is then combined and separated at the other end using optical methods to implement a complex piece of mathematics— the Fourier transform, at speeds which were previously unimagined before.

The scientists carrying out the experiment consider that fibre of multiterabit speeds will soon be routinely required by “new services such as cloud computing, three-dimensional high-definition television and virtual-reality applications”.

They say that their Fourier-transform implementations could perhaps be integrated onto a single chip, therefore making it a true candidate for commercial applications that until today would be too slow in their data transmission rates.