Optical circuit to deliver instantaneous, unlimited Internet access

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Optical circuit to deliver instantaneous, unlimited Internet access

Physicists have developed optical switching technology capable of delivering data at the rate of 640 Gbps, potentially yielding a 60-fold increase in Australian Internet speeds.

The technology is a Photonic Integrated Circuit that is said to resemble a small scratch on a piece of glass.

Developed at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), the technology has been four years in the making, and is expected to produce high-speed, error free, unlimited access to the Internet anywhere in the world.

“This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there,” said Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, in a statement.

“We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more," he said.

The ‘scratch’ in the device is used as a guide for data transfer and allows data to switch between on and off modes in a picosecond, Eggleton explained.

Announced today at the Opto-Electronics and Communications Conference (OECC) in Sydney, the technology has been demonstrated to achieve speeds 60 times faster than current Telstra-owned networks.

“We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity,” Eggleton said.

“Currently we use electronics for our switching and that has been OK but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant web gratification,” he said.

“Photonic technology delivers what's needed and, more importantly, what's wanted.”
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