World record in data transmission: 26 terabits per second on a single laser beam

May 24, 2011

Scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have succeeded in encoding data at a rate of 26 terabits per second on a single laser beam, transmitting over a distance of 50 km.

The team beat its own data rate record of 10 terabits per second (10,000 billion bits per second) set in 2010.

With their new optoelectric decoding method, the high data rate is then broken down into smaller bit rates, and uses orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) based on fast Fourier transform processing for data encoding. At 26 terabits per second, it is possible to transmit up to 400 million telephone calls simultaneously, or the contents of 700 DVDs in one second, the researchers said. .

The scientists said their results show that physical limits have not yet been reached, even at extremely high data rates.

Ref: W. Freude & J. Leuthold, et al., 26 Tbit s−1 line-rate super-channel transmission utilizing all-optical fast Fourier transform processing, Nature Photonics, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/NPHOTON.2011.74