Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) presented findings related to experiments to speed the transmission of data over fiber networks.
The team was able to achieve transmission rates over a single 38-strand fiber cable up to 22.9 petabits per second.
For context, 22.9 petabits would handle all of the world’s global internet traffic 20 times over… on a single cable.
1 petabit equals 1000 terabits or a quadrillion bits of information.
With the global surge in streaming services for media entertainment, the need for bandwidth has exploded, making it a challenge for Internet infrastructure to keep up.
The findings by NICT represent a breakthrough that will enable the growth of network traffic that is expected in the years to come.
The breakthrough centers on optimizing multiple ways of sending data through a core rather than the current method of using one method of transmission.
The scientists liken this to widening a street while simultaneously coordinating the street lights to be more in sync, and therefore, multiple small changes together aggregated into exponential improvements.
The team also feels that additional improvements will get the top speed up to 24.7 petabits which is 1000 times faster than the current throughput of the average optical cable.
This is good news for video streaming companies, VoIP companies, and other high bandwidth users.
Video streaming alone is thought to take up 65% of the throughput of the Internet, and with the popularity of video conferencing continuing to grow, there is no end in sight of the expansion that will be needed to support the continued growth.
While the NICT findings will take time to be realized in the world, it is comforting to know that the extra capacity will soon be available.