Science

Australian researchers achieve world’s fastest Internet speed

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 23, 2020 Published on May 23, 2020

A representative image   -  Representative Image: Reuters

Theoretically, one can download 1000 HD movies in a split second

Researchers from Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities of Australia have successfully tested and recorded the world’s fastest internet data speed. The researchers achieved this from a single optical chip – capable of downloading 1000 high definition movies in a split second, as per the Swinburne Insitute’s official release.

The breakthrough finding can help Australia to bolster its telecommunications capacity for the next 25 years. This can also be rolled out across the world.

Findings of the research

In light of the pressures being placed on the world’s internet infrastructure, recently highlighted by isolation policies as a result of COVID-19, the research team led by Dr Bill Corcoran (Monash), Distinguished Professor Arnan Mitchell (RMIT) and Professor David Moss (Swinburne) were able to achieve a data speed of 44.2 Terabits per second (Tbps) from a single light source.

This technology has the capacity to support the high-speed internet connections of 1.8 million households in Melbourne. This can also address the problem of virtual jams across the world during peak periods.

For this study, researchers achieved these quick speeds using existing communications infrastructure where they were able to efficiently load-test the network.

They used a new device called micro-comb that replaces 80 lasers, which is smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware. It was planted into and load-tested using existing infrastructure, which mirrors that used by the NBN.

It is the first time any micro-comb has been used in a field trial and possesses the highest amount of data produced from a single optical chip.

Dr Bill Corcoran, co-lead author of the study and Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University said in an official statement: “We’re currently getting a sneak-peak of how the infrastructure for the internet will hold up in two to three years’ time, due to the unprecedented number of people using the internet for remote work, socializing and streaming. It’s really showing us that we need to be able to scale the capacity of our internet connections.”

He added that the team’s research demonstrates the ability of fibers that people already have in the ground.

Other possibilities

“And it’s not just Netflix we’re talking about here – it’s the broader scale of what we use our communication networks for. This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation and it can help the medicine, education, finance, and e-commerce industries, as well as enable us to read with our grandchildren from kilometers away.”

To illustrate the impact optical micro-combs have on optimizing communication systems, researchers installed 76.6km of ‘dark’ optical fibers between RMIT’s Melbourne City Campus and Monash University’s Clayton Campus. The optical fibers were provided by Australia’s Academic Research Network.

Researchers were able to send maximum data down each channel, simulating peak internet usage, across 4THz of bandwidth.

Professor Moss, Director of the Optical Sciences Centre at Swinburne, stated: “In the 10 years since I co-invented micro-comb chips, they have become an enormously important field of research.”

He added: “It is truly exciting to see their capability in ultra-high bandwidth fiber optic telecommunications coming to fruition. This work represents a world-record for bandwidth down a single optical fiber from a single chip source, and represents an enormous breakthrough for part of the network which does the heaviest lifting. Micro-combs offer enormous promise for us to meet the world’s insatiable demand for bandwidth.”

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Published on May 23, 2020
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