The fastest rate for the transmission of data between a single transmitter and receiver has been achieved at 1.125 terabits per second by a team of researchers from the UK. The findings are documented in Scientific Reports.
The newest record for data transmission speed was made using an optical communications system. The researchers describe their feat as being nearly 50,000 times greater than the “superfast broadband”, the mean speed of a UK broadband connection which is at 24 megabits per second.
One of the authors, Robert Maher from the University College London, says that the whole HD series of TV show Games of Thrones can be downloaded in one second at the rate they reached.
Such fast data transmission is possible with optical communications systems which are based on pulses of light that run through optical fibres to transfer information; electronic signals are converted and transmitted into light signals by a transmitter, and the light is turned back into electricity by a receiver.
The system built by Maher and his team is a combination of 15 different channels, each with an optical signal bearing a different wavelength along which data is sent. They are combined when the data hits its destination; then, they are directed into a single optical receiver that has super-high bandwidth for processing.
“Using high-bandwidth super-receivers enables us to receive an entire super-channel in one go. Super-channels are becoming increasingly important for core optical communications systems, which transfer bulk data flows between large cities, countries or even continents,” says Maher.
“However, using a single receiver varies the levels of performance of each optical sub-channel, so we had to finely optimise both the modulation format and code rate for each optical channel individually to maximise the net information data rate. This ultimately resulted in us achieving the greatest information rate ever recorded using a single receiver.”
Now, what is standing in the way between the technology and us, humans who long for such download speeds? The system is not commercially accessible because the team of scientists yet have to prove that the data transmission rate is still possible for transmission over long distances. They still have to convince Internet companies of the reliability of their system. So, yes, you might have to wait for some time before you can download your favourite shows at such incredible speeds.