Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark (TUD) have done something quite remarkable by demonstrating a record data transmission speed of 1.84 Pbps (Petabits per second) – or 1,840Tbps (Terabits per second) if you prefer – over a single 37-core and 7.9km long fibre optic cable. Oh.. and they could go a lot faster.

Just to put this achievement into some context, BT’s entire national UK broadband network tends to “peak” at a transfer rate of around 26Tbps, which is just a fraction of what the TUD team achieved. In fact, the “average” (not peak) internet bandwidth being used across the population of the whole world is currently estimated to be around 1Pbps (1000Tbps) today.

The key achievement here, other than the speed itself, is that this was all achieved using a single infrared laser and a single optical chip, which also has the potential to dramatically reduce the energy costs of such a system. In short, a single laser could be used to replace the job of more than 1,000 lasers, which makes this much more practical and economical to deploy in the real-world.

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