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IBM Sets Data Transfer Record

IBM researchers break previous speed limit for data transmission over a multimode optical fiber. See how their approach compares to today's technology.

IBM researchers have set a record for data transmission over a multimode optical fiber. By sending data at a rate of 64 Gbit/s over a cable 57 meters long using a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), the researchers achieved a rate that was around 14% faster than the previous record and about 2.5 times faster than the capabilities of typical commercial technology.

To send the data, the researchers used standard non-return-to-zero (NRZ) modulation. "Others have thought that this modulation wouldn't allow for transfer rates much faster than 32 Gbit/s," said researcher Dan Kuchta of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. Many researchers thought that achieving higher transmission rates would require turning to more complex types of modulation, such as pulse-amplitude modulation-4 (PAM-4).

"What we're showing is that that's not the case at all," Kuchta said. Because he and his colleagues achieved fast speeds even with NRZ modulation, he added, "this technology has at least one or two more generations of product life in it."

Read the rest of this article on EE Times.

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/2/2014 | 8:57:14 PM
Re: Good for inside the data center
64Gbit/s - this is really amazing over multimode fibre. Although 57m transmissiton distance looks too short, it's a very important start. With the prevailing of big-data, IoT and Internet itself, the FTTx is definitely the future of access network. GPON/EPON is becoming dominating access network technology for big service providers and for sure the faster fibre is a must in the whole scenario.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2014 | 9:39:58 PM
Re: Good for inside the data center
Agreed. Even so, anything that can extend the life of existing MM fiber plant will be welcomed in most data centers I suspect.

Cisco's QSFP "bidi" transceiver is taking a swipe in the same direction, with 40Gbps over a single MMF pair (using a wavelength in each direction, hence bidirectional (bidi). If you could do the same with this technology you could probably do 100GBps over MMF. Now wouldn't that be sweet?
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2014 | 2:15:22 PM
Good for inside the data center
Excellent rate of data transmission with a proven technology, but restricted for use on supercomputing fabric or inside the data center. Max distance is 57 meters.
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