Alcatel Boosts Fiber Speed to 100 Petabits in Lab


istock_000004000555xsmallAlcatel-Lucent (s ALU) today said that scientists at Bell Labs have set an optical transmission record that could deliver data about 10 times faster than current undersea cables,  resulting in speeds of more than 100 Petabits per second.kilometer.  A petawhat? This translates to the equivalent of about 100 million Gigabits per second.kilometer or sending about 400 DVDs per second over 7,000 kilometers, roughly the distance between Paris and Chicago.

Such capacity increases on our undersea cables are important. A single home isn’t sending about 400 DVDs per second, however, as video becomes increasingly available and downloaded on the web, entire neighborhoods and geographic regions will get there, and that capacity increase is reflected in the growth of long-haul networking demand. That’s why research such as this and new companies such as Cyan Optics are so important to maintaining the current pace of innovation on the web. Now that broadband is our platform we have to make sure it continues to get faster and faster.

The transmissions were not just faster, they were accomplished over a network whose repeaters are 20 percent farther apart than commonly maintained in such networks,  which could decrease the costs of deploying such a network.

To achieve these results, researchers from the Bell Labs facility in Villarceaux, France used 155 lasers, each operating at a different frequency and carrying 100 Gigabits of data per second. The team multiplied the number of lasers by their transmission rate of 100 Gigabits per second and then multiplied the 15.5-Terabit-per-second result by the 7,000-kilometer distance achieved. The combination of speed multiplied by distance expressed as bit per second.kilometers is a standard measure for high-speed optical transmission.


Network Engineer

“The combination of speed multiplied by distance expressed as bit per second.kilometers is a standard measure for high-speed optical transmission.”

It’s a stupid marketing misrepresentation of a standard measure of data transmission speed – bits per second. Bits per kilometer.second metric is retarded. The only significant mention of a distance would be the distance between two optical amplifiers, which in this case were spaced 90 kilometers apart. 15.5Tbps over this distance is impressive, but please don’t give us that “speed of 100 Petabits” crap.

U Nutz

Nah, your thinking about when they beam thought patterns directly into you cerebral cortex. :P


100 petabit= 400 dvd??? you better check your numbers

100 petabit = 13 107 200 gigabyte =2 048 000 dvd
the difference is only about 5000x :-)

ps: I have arrived here from another site, which didn’t check the numbers either


per petabit/sec/km… therefore 100,000 Tb/sec/km … div by 8 for Tb to TB conversion … 12,500TB/sec/km… div by 7,000 for distance … 1,785GB/sec for 7,000 km. div by 400 DVDs = 4.46GB (avg size of a DVD)

Stacey Higginbotham

I believe the 100 petabit figure reflects the distance traveled. The aggregate speed is 15.5 terabits per second.


Gotta love Marketing!!! 155 waves is common, 7000 km is common, 100 gig waves are out or soon to be out by a dozen companies. Now if they really did a full 155 waves with say 150km amp spacing, and have really tested all 155 at once I’m impressed. Manufactures I’ve talked to only have a limited number of 100 gig optics in the engineer lab due to the 100k ballpark cost per card.

miten sampat

thanks for covering the story Stacey.

amazing to see that people are spending time on the most fundamental pieces of telecom innovation, and continuing to make breakthroughs.

Stacey Higginbotham

It would be crazy not to. Demand for broadband is only going to go up.

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