A research team from Technical University of Denmark (DTU) used a new kind of multi-core optical fibre, which is capable of letting multiple data streams pass through it simultaneously. Manufactured by a tech giant in Japan called NTT, this technology is now being prepared for commercial distribution.
According to Justin Kahn at TechSpot, the team set the record by achieving a transfer rate of 43 terabits per second over a single fibre with one laser transmitter. "Forty-three terabits is about the same as moving nearly 5.5 terabytes of data in one second,” says Kahn, "or equivalent to transferring the contents of a 1TB hard drive in a fifth of a second.”
This isn’t the first time this team has held this particular world record. They set it back in 2009, before being beaten by researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany two years later. The German team's record speed in 2011 was 26 terabits per second, so the Danes have now almost doubled that.
What makes this record especially exciting is the set-up that they used to achieve it. Faster transfer rates have been achieved in the past, but they required a complex combination of multiple fibres and lasers working together all at once, which isn’t practical and can’t easily be applied to the technology we currenty use to get Internet access in our homes and offices. The Danes’ more simple set-up, however, is likely to have an impact on the commercial space in the future.
“What makes DTU's research so notable is because of the use of a single-laser and single fibre set-up,” notes Kahn at TechSpot. "The team took back the world record with a set up that is very similar to what we see in commercial applications today.”