A team of engineers from Britain and Japan set an absolute Internet speed record of 178 terabits per second. That's enough to download the entire Netflix movie library in less than a second. They managed to achieve such a fantastic result using new methods of light modulation.
178 TB / s is an incredible speed that even NASA, which has 400 Gb / s networks, cannot compete with it. The previous record was held by Japan with 150 TB / s - the new technology bypassed it by almost 20 percent.
Most importantly, the technology works on existing infrastructure. A team of representatives from University College London, Xtera and KDDI Research have developed a new method that actually allows more data to be transmitted over conventional fiber optic cable. Most of the existing cables provide a bandwidth of 4.5 THz, some advanced technologies bring this parameter closer to 9 THz. The new technology has raised the bar up to 16.8 THz at once.
To dramatically increase the bandwidth, scientists have developed new patterns of signal combinations that change the phase, brightness and polarization of light waves. This makes it possible to transfer more data without allowing mutual wave interference. By leveraging existing infrastructure, the technology can be deployed fairly easily in many regions of the world today. Instead of laying thousands of kilometers of new cables, it will only be necessary to upgrade the amplifiers that are located on every 40-100 km of the network.