Sunday, May 10, 2009

AT&T and Partners Transmit 32 Terabits per Second Over Single Fiber

AT&T, NEC Corporation of America and Corning set a new record for optical fiber transmission - researchers transmitted data at 114 Gbps over each of 320 separate optical channels on a single, 580-kilometer optically amplified link, resulting in a total bandwidth capacity of 32 Terabits per second. The laboratory link was composed of seven spans, each containing a single-stage Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) for both the C- and L-band and a section of Corning SMF-28 ULL fiber, an ITU G.652 compliant ultra-low-loss optical fiber.

AT&T said this exceeds the bandwidth capacity of the previous record-setting test by 25 percent, and over more than twice the distance. The latest milestone, presented recently at the OFC/NFOEC in San Diego, advances development of 100 Gigabit technologies, which are expected to be finalized and ready for deployment within the next few years to boost capacity in carrier backbone networks.

"IP traffic on the AT&T network is growing at about 45 percent year over year, so groundbreaking research efforts like this are critical to our ongoing efforts to stay ahead of our customers' rapidly evolving and expanding needs," said Peter Magill, executive director of optical systems research, AT&T Labs. "In setting this new bandwidth capacity record, we used a transmission method that enables better management of the interference that can result from operating 320 wavelengths over a single fiber-optic link. To do so, we used a new way to generate such signals and a new signal-processing algorithm to receive them again. We're looking forward to further testing of these techniques and the additional bandwidth advances that may come from it."

"There are still several challenges, including maturity and cost efficiency, to overcome before the deployment of such a high transmission rate over a single fiber, but we are definitely closer," added Milorad Cvijetic, vice president and chief technology strategist, Optical Network Systems Division, NEC Corporation of America.

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