Two EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers. Their simple, innovative solution reduces the amount of space required between the pulses of light that transport data. The breakthrough could increase the throughput of data in telecommunications systems by a factor of ten.
Researchers have come up with a method for fitting pulses together within the fibers, thereby reducing the space between pulses. Their approach, which has been published in Nature Communications, makes it possible to use all the capacity in an optical fiber. This opens the door to a ten-fold increase in throughput in our telecommunications systems.
The team thus made a series of subtle adjustments based on a concept known as a “frequency comb” and succeeded in generating pulses with almost perfectly rectangular spectrum. This constitutes a real breakthrough, since the team has succeeded in producing the long-sought-after “Nyquist sinc pulses.