A Breakthrough In Fiber Optics That Came Not A Moment Too Soon

We place a lot of demand on the systems that keep us connected, and that demand is only going to increase. If there’s one thing modern connectivity relies on its speed, and that speed is inherent to capacity limits of fiber optic cables. The fiber optic technology that we currently rely on is far from perfect, and it’s not going to serve the needs of our connected planet much longer. Thankfully, however, engineers at the University of California, San Diego have found a way to extend fiber optical cable limits by nearly 20 times.

Engineers have increased fiber optic capacity nearly 20 times | Mashable

Image Source: Mashable

Image Source: Mashable

“The researchers at UC San Diego use what they’re calling a ‘frequency comb’ to predict those distortions and reverse them, creating a stronger signal without the need of regenerators. With the combs in place, the researchers were able to send a signal 20 times stronger than the previous limit without any signal degradation. […] This breakthrough comes shortly after there was some panic in the media about the internet reaching capacity because of the limitations in fiber optic capacity. Today’s standard fiber optic cables won’t be able to handle the ever increasing amount of internet-connected devices.”

It appears as though this breakthrough could not have come soon enough. As our lives become increasingly connected and more and more places and products connect to the web, we’re going to need steady solutions to the problem of digital infrastructure capacity and speed.