Researchers in the US and Netherlands have managed to transmit data at 255Tbps across a single strand of fiber cable over a kilometer, about 2,500 times faster than any commercial fiber. They used a so-called multicore cable with seven separate channels, but the hardware alone didn’t account for the speed. They also squeezed 50 carriers down the seven cores, cranking each up to 5.1 Tbps using “spatial multiplexing.”
A joint group of researchers from the Netherlands and the US have smashed the world speed record for a fiber network, pushing 255 terabits per second down a single strand of glass fiber. This is equivalent to around 32 terabytes per second — enough to transfer a 1GB movie in 31.25 microseconds (0.03 milliseconds), or alternatively, the entire contents of your 1TB hard drive in about 31 milliseconds. To put 255Tbps into perspective, the fastest single-fiber links in commercial operation top out at 100Gbps, or 2,550 times slower. 255Tbps is mindbogglingly quick; it’s greater, by far, than the total capacity of every cable — hundreds of glass fibers — currently spanning the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, 255 terabits per second is similar to — or maybe even more than — the total sum of all traffic flowing across the internet at peak time.