43 Terabits Per-second though a single fiber optic cable!

A group of scientists at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have been known for their breakthroughs within the data transmission speeds, pushing into the one terabit barrier in 2009, but today they have again broken records.

The team have been able to transfer up to 43 terabits-per-second (Tbps) over a single optical fibre using just one laser transmitter. But what does this mean for us as the public?

It means we could possibly have in the future a transfer rate of:

5.4 terabytes per second or 5,375 gigabytes per second!

Compared to our current speeds which are:  

UK average broadband speeds by provider

Rank Provider Download Upload
1 Hyperoptic 38.1Mbps 24.1Mbps
2 Virgin Media 23.6Mbps 2.6Mbps
3 BT 17.5Mbps 4.5Mbps
4 Zen Internet 15Mbps 3.3Mbps
5 Tooway 14.7Mbps 1.6Mbps
6 Plusnet 14.1Mbps 3.2Mbps
7 John Lewis 12.5Mbps 2.2Mbps
8 Primus Saver 10.6Mbps 3Mbps
9 TalkTalk 10.3Mbps 1.3Mbps
10 Eclipse 10Mbps 1.8Mbps
11 Vodafone 9.5Mbps 2.8Mbps
12 EE 9Mbps 2.1Mbps
13 Be 8.5Mbps 1.5Mbps
14 Sky 7.8Mbps 1.5Mbps
15 O2 6.7Mbps 1.3Mbps
16 Tesco 6.5Mbps 1.3Mbps
17 AOL 4.2Mbps 575.7Kbps
18 3 Mobile 4.1Mbps 1.4Mbps
19 Post Office 3.6Mbps 460.1Kbps
20 T-Mobile 3.4Mbps 1.4Mbps


This is a massive jump in bandwidth speed in comparison to those above.

The previous optical fibre which was broke the record of 26 terabits per second was created within the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2011.

The significant thing of the DTU record is that it is utilizing only a single fiber to transmit the data, while other research divisions have been able to transfer petabytes per second this always required multiple lasers and multiple fibers.

However to do that their methods could never be established as a public wide product due to their complexity. What makes the DTU record significant is that their product actually has a real chance reaching the public as a feasible and usable data transmission type.


The DTU managed to reach this speed by using a multi-core fiber, at this current time most fibres are usually 1 core in size the DTU fibre cable which was produced by the  Japanese telecom giant NTT has  7 cores in total with each core carrying a different signal. However until now multicore fibre optic cables have been expensive to manufacture but NTT is now pushing commercial developments utilising this new type of fibre.

The picture below shows the new type of fibres architecture, and what could possibly be coming to our homes in the near future.


However at this current moment in time there is little knowledge of just how DTU utilised the multicore fibre to transfer this amount of data per-second.  What we do know is to currently boost a fibre optic network speed, we apply a SDM (Spatial Division Multiplexing) or WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) to the signal.

Links below will give you more information on SDM WDM

SDM – http://modegap.eu/?publication=space-division-multiplexing&wppa_open=yes

WDM – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavelength-division_multiplexing

The current fastest commercial single laser fibre-optic network is about 100Gbps (100Gb Ethernet), yet the IEEE is investigating the feasibility of 400Gbps or even 1TBps. These speeds might not be hitting the market till 2017 but it’s a good start knowing that we aren’t going to be using up all our bandwidth anytime soon unless you have a bad ISP provider..


Have a great day  TECH2DAY!



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