puce capable transmettre donnees équivalentes trafic internet mondial une seconde

A chip capable of transmitting the equivalent (in data) of the world’s Internet traffic in one second

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This computer chip breaks records… Thanks to a technology that uses light spectra, it has been shown to be capable of transmitting 1.84 petabits of data per second through a fiber optic cable, the equivalent (in amount of data) of global traffic of the Internet in a second.

To give an idea of ​​the immense amount of data transmitted through this method, some comparisons are possible. For example, 1.84 petabits of data is enough bandwidth to download 230 million photos during that time, but also more traffic than the entire Internet can handle per second.

Those responsible for this technical feat are a certain Asbjørn Arvad Jørgensen, a researcher at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen, and his colleagues. They used a photonic chip for this. This technology involves placing optical components on computer chips. The idea is to split a data stream into several thousand separate channels. These different channels were all transmitted at the same time, but well separated, over a distance of several kilometers. It is this separation that allows more data to be transported at once.

The data stream was first separated into 37 separate channels: each data “packet” was sent through a fiber optic core (the core of the cables). But the story doesn’t end there: each of these data packets has been further subdivided 223 times, to be associated with individual “slices” of the magnetic spectrum.

Why are we suddenly talking about the magnetic spectrum when it comes to light? We raised the question in our article on the first photonic processor: an Oxford University press release on the subject reminded us of a well-known fact: light is made up of different “wavelengths”, which can be distinguished very clearly from each. When they circulate in devices capable of distinguishing them, they can be used as different “information channels”. In fact, fiber optics is based precisely on this concept: through small “cables”, the famous optical fibers, it transports the different channels of information in a single ray of light.

Light, an electromagnetic wave.

To go beyond this technology, several researchers have investigated another property of light, which is “polarization”. Did you believe that light traveled in a straight line? No. Instead, light would be considered an “electromagnetic wave,” a term that refers to oscillations in the electric field. In other words, “ripples”. Therefore, it has properties like polarization: in a way, it is the “direction” associated with wave oscillations. These oscillations can be rotated in multiple directions, and a single ray of light contains multiple polarizations. Here we are ! In the same way as the different wavelengths, the scientists who designed the photonic processor were able to use these different polarizations as so many information channels.

Scientists working on the photonic chip, meanwhile, used a “frequency comb.” “ Frequency combs are a special type of light source, characterized by their spectral composition of equally spaced frequency components that resemble the teeth of a comb. “, the scientists explain in their work, published in Nature. By using this “frequency comb” to optimally separate the frequencies, data could be transmitted all at once without interfering with each other. Therefore, the chip uses a single continuous laser, which is divided into several frequencies. Separate devices encode the data in each of the output streams.

It will be understood that scientists are not the first to be interested in this type of technology to massively increase data transmission capabilities. However, they claim to have set a record in this area, using only a chip as a light source. In fact, the amount of data transmitted was so great that no computer could have received so much data at once. Therefore, the scientists used “dummy data” for their experiment and tested the speed channel by channel.

Source: Nature

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