Researchers from Australia's Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities say they have broken a new Internet speed record. The speed of 44,2 Tbps, is now a fact, according to a PublicationP in the open-access journal Nature Communications.
This is theoretically a speed that allows you to download the contents of 50 Ultra HD Blu-ray discs of 100 GB in one second.
What is interesting in this research is that it was achieved in 75 km of standard optical fiber using a built-in chip source. This means that it has the ability to operate at some point with the existing fiber optic infrastructure.
The test connection took place between the RMIT campus in Melbourne and the Monash University campus. The researchers said that this connection reflects the infrastructure used by the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN).
The findings represent a “global record for bandwidth, ”said David Moss, a professor at the University of Swinburne.
"What our research shows is the ability of the fibers we already have on the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. "We have developed something that is scalable to meet our future needs," said Bill Corcoran, co-lead author of the study and a lecturer at the University of Monash.
These speeds have been achieved thanks to a technology called micro-comb, which offers a more efficient and compact way of transmitting data. This micro-comb was placed in the optical fibers and according to the researchers is the first time the technology was used in a field test.
Now, researchers say, the challenge is to turn technology into something that can be used more easily with existing infrastructure.
"In the long run, we hope to create integrated photon chips that could achieve this data transfer rate on existing fiber optic connectors at minimal cost," said RMIT Professor Arnan Mitchell.
However, it is unlikely that you can download short games or watch movies over a 44,2 Tbps connection.
If the technology manages to commercialize, researchers say it is likely to be used to connect data centers. After all, gigabit Internet connections have been available for years and are still unusually used by home users. But if the technology becomes cheap enough, then researchers hope it could one day be used by the general public.