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Summary:

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs researchers have successfully demonstrated a 512 Gbps transmission over a single fiber channel — more than quadrupling the maximum bit-rate possible on today’s backbone networks.

New tech to cram more bits in your hertz.

One thing about the exploding demand for broadband capacity is the way it encourages carriers to research new ways to cope — and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom is the latest to come through with a new solution for the capacity crunch.

In a project grandly named OSIRIS (Optically Supported IP Router Interfaces), Telekom’s Berlin-based T-Labs team managed to get data pumping through a single optical fiber channel at a rate of 512 Gigabits per second. It was a real-world demo too, working over the 734km Berlin-Hannover-Berlin round-trip, Deutsche Telekom.

The carrier put a slight dampener on things by pointing out that the usable per-channel bit-rate would only be 400 Gbps, but –- given that the maximum bit-rate in today’s state-of-the-art networks is a relatively measly 100 Gbps per channel -– that still represents a huge capacity boost.

Bear in mind, too, that each fiber strand uses dozens of channels –- 48 in the case of the T-Labs system. So T-Labs’ new tech should mean a whopping 24.6 Tbps max throughput for each optical fiber. Bundle those fibers together and you get the kind of network a carrier would be looking for right now.

Putting it into context, Telekom said that “a collection of 3,696 CDs could thus be transferred over a single optical fiber — a strand thinner than a human hair — at the same time” using the new technique.

What comes next is a bit unclear. T-Labs says existing networks don’t need cable replacements to take advantage of the new speeds – they just need new terminal equipment. However, there’s no word yet on when Alcatel-Lucent and other kit-makers will start commercializing the new technology — but if providers like Deutsche Telekom want to join in the action, they will have to wait for this new equipment to appear before it’s possible.

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  1. How does this work? More finely sliced WDM? Perhaps using birefringent filters? Something I first saw in ’99. But no standards existed and it was a small Fremont start-up that put the pieces together. Maybe DT bought them out and waited the optical crash out before bringing it back.

  2. Enrico Caruso Monday, March 5, 2012

    Yeah…then your provider caps your data at 5GB per month.

  3. Would there still be a 250GB cap?

  4. Why the picture of the toothbrush though?

  5. shrinkDWorld Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Like your post. added this link in my mega indexing project (www.shrinkdworld.com)

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