Infinera tests 8 Tbps speeds on older fiber

Infinera (s infn) and Nissho Electronics are showing off lab tests that can deliver 8 terabits per second of capacity over 800 kilometers. This level of capacity is about half the lit capacity delivered under the Atlantic. Essential to this test was that it could deliver this high-capacity over fiber that previously was unable to handle such fast (and fat) connections.

The test used Infinera’s technology across 800 kilometers of a special type of fiber called Dispersion Shifted Fiber. This DSF Fiber is used in Japan, but currently can’t handle some of the advanced techniques companies are using to add more capacity to existing fiber. From the release for those who like the technical bits:

DSF fiber, deployed throughout Japan, has proven to be a challenge in deploying high-capacity dense wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transport technology due to low chromatic dispersion in the C-Band, making it difficult to achieve high capacity optical transmission over long distance economically. As a result, capacities have been severely limited and have had to utilize expensive L-band technology to achieve long haul quality performance from the DSF fiber.

When using the same Infinera gear over modern fiber strands, the equipment can deliver 8 Tbps over distances of 2,500 kilometers, showing that even certain types of fiber aren’t as future proof as we might think, given our insatiable demand for bandwidth.