ETRI develops optical communications technology to double data transfer speed

February 24, 2020

Researchers in South Korea have developed a new optical communications technology that can transfer data in lightning speed. The new technology sends and receives twice as much data than conventional methods. It is expected to contribute to solving data traffic congestion in 5G networks.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in South Korea has succeeded to develop a compact 200Gbps optical transceiver in the QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Double Density) form factor. It would take about four seconds to transfer an ultra-high-definition 4K film which is about 100 gigabytes.

The new technology significantly improved data transfer speed by adopting a four-stage high-order modulation method, which is PAM-4 modulation with direct detection. While previous two-stage modulation technology sends one bit a time, the new technology sends two bits. Moreover, it allows efficient data transfer between telecom nodes to other local networks as far away as 80 kilometers.

The new technology, 200Gbps QSFP-DD transceiver provides a cost effective alternative to the other coherent modulation for the metro-access network (such as inter-data center network or mobile back-haul network).

The merit of the new technology is the minor sensitivity to changes in wavelength and temperature and its simple manufacturing process. Hence the power consumption is 1.5 times lower and the density is 4 times higher, thereby reducing the communications equipment investment cost.

ETRI has designed and developed a unique PAM-4 DSP algorithm. The new technology combined with the PAM-4 DSP algorithm has been proven their idea with real-time demonstration, which is a world-best record. The research outcome was published in the journal, Optics Express, a renowned journal in optical communications research sector.
About Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)

ETRI is a non-profit government-funded research institute. Since its foundation in 1976, ETRI, a global ICT research institute, has been making its immense effort to provide Korea a remarkable growth in the field of ICT industry. ETRI delivers Korea as one of the top ICT nations in the World, by unceasingly developing world's first and best technologies.

National Research Council of Science & Technology

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