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NTT claims 50% boost in optical fibre speeds to 1.2Tbps

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Japanese telco NTT says it has increased the capacity of optical devices by 50%, so that fibres can carry data at 1.2Tbps.

The company said in a scientific publication that this means the capacity of existing optical networks can be expanded to meet growing needs while not increasing power consumption.

“The power consumption per bit will be reduced to 10% of the widely-used commercial system,” said NTT, noting that this is 100Gbps per channel. “The improvements in the performance and power consumption of optical transmission systems should contribute to an all-photonics network foundational to the IOWN concept.”

IOWN is NTT’s abbreviation for its Innovative Optical and Wireless Network project.

NTT said: “Our developed device utilizes a digital coherent detection scheme, in which the polarization, amplitude, and phase of light are captured as digital data. The signal distortion that occurs in the optical fiber transmission channel and optoelectronic devices are compensated and equalized through advanced signal processing.”

At the SubOptic Foundation’s Wave conference in London yesterday Polina Bayvel, professor of optical communications and networks at University College London, noted that the announcement from NTT “was a bit opaque”. She added: “There’s no data on distance.”

NTT added: “The technology has also achieved the world’s highest optical signal modulation speed of 140 gigabaud and enables double the previous world record optical transmission distance of 800Gbps. As a result, the capacity of optical transmission systems will increase by 12 times and the power consumption per bit will be reduced to 10% of the widely used commercial system.”

NTT said its circuit “combines cutting-edge coded modulation with transmission performance approaching the theoretical limit and newly developed forward error correction that can correct bit errors in large amounts of data with low power consumption”.

The company, a major telco in Japan and a huge international carrier, said its technical development “results in flexible coded modulation that maximizes the potential of high-speed optical devices”.

It added: “As a result, the previous record transmission distance of 800Gbps signals can be extended by more than twice that of the 100 giga baud devices.”

NTT said it intends “to collaborate with both international and domestic partners so that our developments can be valuable and beneficial for communities worldwide”.

NTT announced its IOWN project in 2019, saying it was part of a programme that included artificial intelligence, virtual reality/augmented reality, human machine interface, security, information processing infrastructure, network, energy, quantum computing, biomedical, advanced materials and additive manufacturing. These are “11 technologies that will create a smart world”, said the company.