Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bell Labs Scientists Win 2009 Marconi Prize

Two scientists from Bell Labs, Andrew Chraplyvy and Robert Tkach, have been awarded the prestigious 2009 Marconi Fellowship and Prize for their insights into how information is transmitted over optical networks and for finding innovative ways to significantly increase the speed and capacity of optical fiber communications systems.

Chraplyvy and Tkach recognized that demand for network capacity was growing exponentially and that nonlinearities inherent in optical transmission would make it virtually impossible to achieve the speeds required to meet that demand. The two scientists realized that previous approaches for increasing transmission efficiency were not sufficient and this realization motivated them to develop novel techniques that would overcome these limitations.

Robert Lucky, chairman of the Marconi Society explained, "Andy and Bob developed the concept of dispersion management -- and also conceived a new optical fiber type. The effect of these innovations was to enable wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) fiber transmission systems with capacities beyond one Terabit/second per fiber -- a 100-fold capacity increase in a mere ten years."

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