Under construction: Information super highway getting wider

March 13, 2002

The information super highway is getting ready for some road work. Just as cars drive on highways made of pavement, packets of information (like news from your favorite website) travel along information highways made of fiber optic cable. At this years Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) March 18-22 in Anaheim, California, researchers will be explaining, for the first time, the new limits to how wide and long the information super highway of the future will be.

Just as the number of lanes on a highway helps determine how many cars can travel the road at any one time, the bandwidth of the optical fiber highway determines how much information can be transmitted. As we send more, and larger, amounts of information over the Internet, the demand for greater bandwidth increases. Most fiber optic highways, or 'trunk lines,' that connect major cities or countries can currently handle about 10 gigabits (10 billion bits) of information per second (Gb/s). That is about the same amount of information contained in the text of 1000 books. By comparison, a dial-up modem allows you at home to get only about 56 kilobits (56 thousand bits) of information per second over a phone line.

Looking to push the limits of bandwidth, a group of researchers from Agere Systems, an optoelectronics and integrated circuits company, has set what they say is a new record transmission rate. They have transmitted 3.2 terabits (trillion bits) of information per second over a fiber optic line 1000km long using DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing).

Another group of researchers, from Mitsubishi Japan is looking not just at how wide they can make the highway, but how long. In order for countries to be connected to each other on the Internet, fiber optic lines must be installed under oceans and other large bodies of water. These trunk lines, which can be very long, are called 'transoceanic class' lines. At OFC researchers Katsuhiro Shimizu and Takashi Mizuochi will present their work on a 1.3 Tb/s transmission over 8400km on a single fiber - which they say is among the first for transoceanic class transmissions employing 20 Gb/s wave division multiplexing (WDM). "This development," says Shimizu, "opens new possibilities for next-generation submarine cable systems and long-distance terrestrial networks for the international network connecting Japan, the U.S.A., Asia, and Europe."
For more information on this topic or to receive information on other OFC highlighted papers, and to register as press for OFC 2002, please contact:

Rory Richards
(301) 209-3088

OFC website: http://www.ofcconference.com/ OFC Media Relations: http://www.ofcconference.com/attendee/hot_press.cfm?menu_id=5500

American Institute of Physics

Related Internet Articles from Brightsurf:

Towards an unhackable quantum internet
Harvard and MIT researchers have found a way to correct for signal loss with a prototype quantum node that can catch, store and entangle bits of quantum information.

Swimming toward an 'internet of health'?
In recent years, the seemingly inevitable 'internet of things' has attracted considerable attention: the idea that in the future, everything in the physical world -- machines, objects, people -- will be connected to the internet.

Everything will connect to the internet someday, and this biobattery could help
In the future, small paper and plastic devices will be able to connect to the internet for a short duration, providing information on everything from healthcare to consumer products, before they are thrown away.

Your body is your internet -- and now it can't be hacked
Purdue University engineers have tightened security on the 'internet of body.' Now, the network you didn't know you had is only accessible by you and your devices, thanks to technology that keeps communication signals within the body itself.

What's next for smart homes: An 'Internet of Ears?'
A pair of electrical engineering and computer science professors in Cleveland, Ohio, have been experimenting with a new suite of smart-home sensors.

Child-proofing the Internet of Things
As many other current, and potentially future, devices can connect to the Internet researchers are keen to learn more about how so called IoT devices could affect the privacy and security of young people.

Quantum internet goes hybrid
ICFO researchers report the first demonstration of an elementary link of a hybrid quantum information network, using a cold atomic cloud and a doped crystal as quantum nodes as well as single telecom photons as information carriers.

Connecting up the quantum internet
Major leap for practical building blocks of a quantum internet: Published in Nature Physics, new research from an Australian team demonstrates how to dramatically improve the storage time of a telecom-compatible quantum memory, a vital component of a global quantum network.

Internet searches for suicide after '13 Reasons Why'
Internet searches about suicide were higher than expected after the release of the Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' about the suicide of a fictional teen that graphically shows the suicide in its finale, according to a new research letter published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Weaponizing the internet for terrorism
Writing in the International Journal of Collaborative Intelligence, researchers from Nigeria suggest that botnets and cyber attacks could interfere with infrastructure, healthcare, transportation, and power supply to as devastating an effect as the detonation of explosives of the firing of guns.

Read More: Internet News and Internet Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.