Looking to support the inevitable growth in demand for data transmission over fiber, NTT and six partners recently set a new transmission capacity record, reaching 118.5 Tbit/s over regular thickness optical fiber.
The team -- including KDDI, Sumitomo Corp. , Fujikura Ltd. , Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. , NEC and the Chiba Institute of Technology -- designed a multi-core fiber featuring four optical paths that fit in the diameter of today's optical fiber, according to a media announcement by the partners.
"A conventional glass diameter (125 micrometer) in accordance with the international standard enables us to use existing optical fiber fabrication and optical connector technologies effectively," the release said. "This achievement proves the concept of multi-core fiber-based long-haul and large capacity transmission system consisting of multiple vendor technologies, and it makes significant progress on practical use of the multi-core fiber technology."
The partnership resulted in three major achievements, according to NEC:
- Between four and five cores will fit within a 125 Ám glass diameter and retain the transmission quality of current optical fiber.
- It realizes a 316-kilometer multi-core transmission line with 0.21 dB/km average loss concatenating the standard diameter multi-core fibers (4 cores) fabricated by multiple vendors randomly.
- It achieves transmission capacity of 118.5 Tbit/s via standard-diameter optical fiber and a multi-core transmission system composed of multi-core transmission line, multi-core optical amplifiers and existing optical connectors.
The companies expect the new standard multi-core fiber to become available in the early 2020s.
Prior research into multi-core fiber with ten or more cores has typically required thicker glass; this translates into requiring advances into fabrication processes and sub-component development, as well as logistical hurdles related to the different size, according to background material from NEC. As a result, it would take at least a decade for operators to use multi-core fiber and meet the data demands of data center and central office customers.
Read the entire research paper here.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.