the new download speed world record is simply mind-blowing

2023-12-04 13:04:16

The Internet download speed record has been shattered. Thanks to a new optical fiber integrating more than a hundred transmissions, this Internet connection is capable of supporting more than 20 times current global Internet traffic. This would significantly improve the domestic speeds of all Internet users.

Credits: Unsplash

What is your internet connection at home? At worst you have a connection ADSL or 4G. The speed is very good for surfing (or even watching streaming videos in HD). But these two technologies do not always offer good stability. At best, you have a fiber optic connection. Download speeds then rise to 2 Gb/s at Bouygues Telecomuntil 5 Gb/s at Orange and until 8 Gb/s at SFR and Free. For more details, find our comparison of the best fiber optic boxes. Internationally, this can go a little higher.

Also read – The fastest Internet connection in the world now boasts a monstrous speed of 46 Tb/s

Of course, these are theoretical flow rates. In reality, subscribers more often have an optical fiber offering a few hundred Mb/s to limit the impact on the network and leave room for everyone. For everyone to be able to access Web content in a fraction of a second, it would be necessary improve infrastructure. This partly involves new generation optical fibers, capable of supporting more than a hundred parallel streams.

An optical fiber shatters the world record for download speed

The Japanese institute NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology) is working on these new generation fibers. Last October, its researchers managed to achieve a flow rate of 22.9 petabits per second. Knowing that 1 petabit is equivalent to 1000 terabits or 1 million gigabits. This is obviously a new world record, knowing that the last record was also held by researchers from the same institute. In March 2020, they reached 10.66 petabits per second. For comparison, global Internet traffic is slightly higher than 1 petabit per second.

Their secret? The very nature of the cable. The optical fibers commonly used have 4 strands for four simultaneous transmissions. The best fibers of this type support a flow rate of 1.02 petabits per second over several tens of kilometers. NICT researchers use fibers with 38 strands. Each strand supports three transmission modes, thus multiplying the number of broadcast channels. Result: these cables are capable of managing 114 connections simultaneously. Hence the supported flow. And the researchers even claim that the system can be optimized to gain a few additional petabits per second.

Not everything is perfect with this new cable. First the transmission distance is much lower, going from around fifty kilometers to 13 kilometers. Then manufacturing costs will obviously be higher. But this technology would make it possible to considerably increase the speed available to each Internet user. Especially since the number of connected products per inhabitant increases each year (smartphone, watch, tablet, PC, car, home automation, etc.). We will therefore increasingly need better bandwidth to avoid any slowdown. Without forgetting Generative AI models that consume a lot of data. Research into optical fibers will help meet this demand.

Source : NICT

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