New laser makes fibre optics faster

White laserA team of engineers has emerged from smoke filled labs having broken the world record for sending data down an optical fibre at room temperature.

Researchers from University of Illinois used a new breed of laser, achieving speeds of up to 57 Gbps.

The vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser creates a sharper, more efficient pulse of light. In 2014, the team hit 40Gbps sending data down an optical fibre with the device. Now, they’ve shown that they can send error-free data down an optical optical fibre at speeds of 57 Gbps. At 50 Gbps you could download the contents of a Blu-ray in just a few seconds and would not have to worry about slow buffering.

Higher data transmission speeds have been achieved in the past but not at normal temperatures. Researchers from University College London have sent data at 1.125 terabits per second between transmitter and receiver, but over zero distance. But the new record is a step towards potentially even faster fibre networks.