Photonics researchers at the University of California, San Diego have increased the maximum power of signal to be sent and thus reduce the distance through optical fibers, which provide the data transmission for the internet, cable, wireless and landline networks.
The breakthrough was achieved when they had sent signals at 12000 km speed and the receiver was able to get the data in tact, removing one major impediment that additional power surge irreparably distorts the information travelling in the fibre optic cable.
The approach was similar to a concert master who tunes multiple instruments to the same pitch before starting the concert. The researchers describe their frequency referencing approach to “pre-compensate for nonlinear effects that occur between communication channels within the fiber optic cable.” The information is initially pre-distorted in a predictable and reversible way when it is sent through the optical fiber. With the frequency comb, the information can be unscrambled and fully restored at the receiving end of the optical fiber.
“After increasing the power of the optical signals we sent by 20 fold, we could still restore the original information when we used frequency combs at the outset,” said Temprana.
It means the frequency comb ensured that the system did not accumulate the random distortions that make it impossible to reassemble the original content at the receiver
The researcher conducted the lab experiments UC San Diego successfully retrieved information after it traveled a record-breaking 12,000 kilometers through fiber optic cables with standard amplifiers and no electronic regenerators. Instead of regenerators, UC engineers have hit upon the idea of eliminating periodic electronic regeneration leading to cheaper and more efficient transmission of information.
Prof. Stojan Radic at UC San Diego said, “Our approach conditions the information before it is even sent, so the receiver is free of crosstalk caused by the Kerr effect.”
The breakthrough now leads to “wideband” instead of broadband as the next generation Internet revolution giving supercomputing speed to every mobile handset and PC.
Developed by Eduardo Temprana, a Ph.D. student and first author and Nikola Alic, another research scientist from the Qualcomm Institute, the new wideband PROJECT was funded by Sumitomo Electric Industries and Google, while the patent is pending. The paper has been published in the journal Science.