Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have demonstrated that miniaturized optical frequency comb sources can enable the transmission of data streams of several terabits per second over hundreds of kilometers, which could help accelerate data transmission speeds in large computing centers and global communication networks.
The experiment yielded a 1.44 Tbps data rate, while the data was transmitted across a distance of 300 km. Optical frequency combs are comprised of densely spaced spectral lines with identical and precisely known distances.
The researchers found that integrated optical frequency comb sources with large line spacings can be built on photonic chips and used for the transmission of large data volumes. They employed an optical microresonator composed of silicon nitride, into which laser light is coupled through a waveguide and stored for a long time.
Kerr frequency combs are generated by exploiting the Kerr effect, with the result being numerous spectral lines produced by a continuous-wave laser beam, says KIT's Jorg Pfeifle. "The use of Kerr combs might revolutionize communication within data centers, where highly compact transmission systems of high capacity are required most urgently," notes KIT's Christian Koos.
From Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
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