Thursday, December 5, 2013

Swiss Researchers Announce Breakthrough in Optical Efficiency

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have discovered a way to increase the capacity of fiber optic cables by optimizing the shape of each photonic pulse.

The breakthrough produces "Nyquist sinc pulses" almost perfectly. The pulses have a pointed shape, which enables them "to fit together tightly like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle." By reducing the spacing between pulses, more data can be transmitted in the same period.  The researchers claim a 10X improvement in throughput using a simple laser and modulator to generate a pulse that is more than 99% perfect.

"These pulses have a shape that's more pointed, making it possible to fit them together, a little bit like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle lock together," says Camille Brès of the Photonics Systems Laboratory (PHOSL). "There is of course some interference, but not at the locations where we actually read the data."