This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Japanese engineers have recorded a groundbreaking data transmission rate thanks to a new optical fiber, which could revolutionize internet speed.

The engineers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) smashed records by unleashing 22.9 petabits per second through a single optical fiber – over 20 times the entire global internet traffic per second. This more than doubles their previous world record of 10.66 petabits per second.

According to Interesting Engineering, global internet traffic per second refers to the total volume of data transmitted across the entire global internet network in a single second, including any data exchanged between devices connected to the internet worldwide (web browsing, video streaming, file downloads, online gaming, etc.). Most internet users worldwide use it at a pace of a few hundred megabits per second.

In order to be able to handle more internet traffic, the researchers explored multiplexing technologies that utilize space and wavelength in optical fiber communications (a process similar to widening roads).

According to the researchers, each core in the fiber cable could transmit data at a speed between 0.3 to 0.7 petabits per second, which when added up the total speed reached 22.9 petabits per second. Rather than relying on a solitary data-transmitting core, the NICT team’s cable has 38 cores, each capable of transmitting data in three modes, totaling an impressive 114 spatial channels. This increases the total transmission capacity by using various independent data channels across different wavelength bands.

Furthermore, the experts hint that with further optimization in error correction, the system could potentially reach an astounding 24.7 petabits per second – over 1,000 times faster than current optical fiber communication systems.

The researchers said in the press release- “Demo is a major step toward the realization of future ultra-large capacity optical communication networks.”