Researchers boost fiber optic networks power limits 20 times2015-06-29 10:08 by Daniela
Tags: fiber optic
Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have broken the limits for data transfer in fiber optic. They succeeded to increase the maximum power delivered through the cables by 20 times, which means that the distance could also be increased.
"Today's fibre optic systems are a little like quicksand. With fibre optics, after a certain point, the more power you add to the signal, the more distortion you get, in effect preventing a longer reach," said corresponding author Nikola Alic from the Qualcomm Institute at University of California - San Diego. "Our approach removes this power limit, which in turn extends how far signals can travel in optical fibre without needing a repeater," Alic added.
The researchers' used laser beams to "predistort" the data that will be transmitted through the fiber optic cables. By predistorting the data, they were able to easily decipher them even at the record-breaking distance.
The researchers took advantage of the "crosstalk," or the interference that happens when the power used on the transmission of the fiber optic signals is too high. With more power behind the signals, the interference rises, but because the type and level of the interference in various cases can be predicted, the researchers were able to successfully reverse the interference once the signal has reached the destination.
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