Researchers develop method for 1,000 times faster net speeds

Researchers at MIT have developed a new way of organising optical networks which could make internet speeds up to 1,000 times faster, according to RedOrbit.

The new approach from the MIT research team led by Vincent Chan, the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is called Optical Flow Switching (OFS), which allows the establishment of a dedicated path between locations in a network that does not require optical signals to be converted to electrical signals.

This all operates from and to one direction, eliminating much of the messy cross-signals from multiple directions, freeing up considerable memory, which in turn increases internet speeds while also lowering electrical consumption. 

Users request end-to-end lightpaths for long duration transactions over 100 milliseconds and when the transaction is complete the resources used are given back to the userbase to be used again by others, without any need for conversion.

The paper, entitled Optical Flow Switching, is the latest in a series delivered over the last 20 years. It is to be one of the highlights at the OptoElectronics and Communications Conference in Japan next month, but you can read it here now.

The paper says that the research group ambitiously proposes that OFS “will exploit optical switching, routing, and transport technologies to continue the lowering of costs faster than Moore’s Law.” It goes on to say that “this will ultimately allow access of high-rate services to the masses sooner than current trends would otherwise allow.”