Japan Destroys World Record for Data Transmission Speed

Data moving at 319 terabits per second

Researchers at the National Institute of Information and Communications (NICT) in Tokyo recently broke the world record for data transfer speeds, reaching 319 terabits per second.

The team of scientists and engineers was led by Benjamin Puttnam at the NICT, an organization with a history of data transfer feats. In fact, the NICT transmitted 172 terabits over 2,000 kilometers in April 2020, setting a world record at the time.

Fiber Optic Cable Display

To give some perspective, the latest speed record could let someone transfer 10,000 high-definition movies, at 4 gigabytes each, in about one second.

To achieve this feat, the team took a coupled four-core optical fiber cable and channeled the data down four optical fiber tubes. The data was then transmitted using "wavelength-division multiplexing."

This particular technology takes the beam of data and splits it into 552 individual channels. The data is then sent down the four cores over a fiber optic cable that is 1,864 miles long (3,000 kilometers). And to make sure the signal strength didn't falter, there were amplifiers put at every 43.5 miles (70 kilometers) to boost it.

The optical fiber tubes played a key role in breaking the record, as it reduced signal disruption over the long distance. Normally, only a single tube is used. The amplifiers also were special, as they included traces of rare earth elements, like thulium and erbium, to boost signal strength even further.

Fiber Optic Cable Installation

According to the team, each channel was transmitting data at around 145 gigabytes per second for each core. With 552 channels, the researchers were able to reach the reported 319 terabit speed.

The purpose of this test was to continue the team's research in long-distance data transmission systems. The data and findings of these tests will go to prepare the world for a post-5G network era.

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