At a blistering 1.125 terabytes per second, a new optical communication system developed by University College London (UCL) researchers has created a new record for the fastest ever data transfer rate for digital information. At the quoted rate, say the researchers, the entire HD series of the TV show Game of Thrones could be downloaded in less than one second.
To help achieve these incredibly fast transfer rates, the researchers took recent developments from the realm of information theory in regard to the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted being limited by the finite signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and applied advanced digital signal processing techniques to optimize the SNR and maximize data throughput.
In other words, the team determined the most efficient way to encode data in optical signals, taking into account the limitations of the transmitter and receiver. They then cleverly used noise reduction techniques normally found in wireless communications and applied them to optical transmission. In this way, the team was able to ensure that the transmitted signals were able to be minimally effected by distortions in the system electronics.
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