A team of researchers from the University of Illinois have unlocked fiber optics’ potential as they managed to transmit data at 57 Gbps at room temperature with no errors, setting a new record for fiber optic transmission. Even when temperature got higher (185F), the team managed to transmit at 50 Gbps.
This breakthrough was achieved by students Michael Liu and Curtis Wang, Professor Nick Holonyak Jr and electrical computing engineering professor Milton Feng, who also set the previous record of 40 Gbps data transmission back in 2014 with another team of students.
Feng, Wang, Liu and Holonyak developed a technology named oxide-VCSEL or oxide-Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser, which accomplishes better transmissions at higher temperatures compared with older technologies.
57 Gbps means you could download 4K movies in seconds, but don’t get excited. Don’t expect Google fiber or other ISP’s can provide Internet speeds this fast anytime soon. Feng believes this technology will find its place in data centers or air-bones and lightweight communications, places where you need to transmit huge amount of data in short distances. But making it work at long distances may become a challenge.