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Lucent's Bell Labs Scientists Report World's First Long-Distance Transmission Of A Trillion Bits Of Data, Using 100 Colors Of Light

March 2, 1998
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies
Bell Labs researchers have demonstrated transmission of a trillion bits of information per second -- 10 billion over each of 100 wavelengths of light -- over 400 kilometers, or nearly 250 miles. Their experiment uses an experimental Bell Labs ultra-wideband optical-fiber amplifier, which was itself demonstrated less than a year ago.

MURRAY HILL, N.J. – Underscoring Lucent Technologies’ competitive edge in the communications marketplace, scientists from Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies, have reported the world’s first long-distance transmission of a terabit (trillion bits) of information per second over a single strand of optical fiber.

Using an experimental ultra-wideband optical-fiber amplifier, unveiled less than a year ago, the scientists were able to transmit signals at the rate of 10 gigabits (billion bits) per second over each of 100 wavelengths, or colors, of light for 400 kilometers, or nearly 250 miles.

A system based on this technology would have the capacity to carry the whole world’s Internet traffic simultaneously over a single optical fiber.

In the past two years, researchers at Bell Labs and several other labs have demonstrated terabit-capacity transmission over relatively short distances. The 400-kilometer transmission distance is nearly three times that of other experiments.

A research team, led by Yan Sun and Atul Srivistava, of Bell Labs Photonic Networks Research department, presented a technical paper on the 100-channel long-distance terabit experiment in the post-deadline -- late-breaking news -- session of the Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) conference last week in San Jose.

Kinichiro Ogawa, head of Bell Labs Photonic Systems Technology Research department, presented a post-deadline paper describing another high-capacity breakthrough: 1.2-terabit transmission, with 40 gigabits per second carried over each of 30 wavelengths through 85 kilometers of fiber.

Both experimental systems use TrueWave® fiber, a product of Lucent’s Network Products Group. TrueWave fiber is a high-capacity, high-performance fiber -- the first optical fiber especially designed for multi-wavelength transmission.

Four other Bell Labs post-deadline papers were also presented.

"The 400-kilometer experiment brought together a wide range of people and technologies from the Bell Labs R&D community as well as Lucent’s Optical Networking Systems and Fiber Cable groups," said Alastair Glass, director of the Bell Labs Photonics Research Lab. "The breadth of our product offerings and R&D expertise is a particular strength of Lucent Technologies."

"The Bell Labs experiment is a major milestone that brings Lucent a step closer to achieving its goal of delivering the all-optical network -- the new foundation for high-capacity network communication," said Gerry Butters, president of Lucent's Optical Networking business.

"This long-distance terabit transmission achievement comes on the heels of Lucent’s introduction of its WaveStar™ optical networking system, which delivers a record-breaking capacity of up to 400 gigabits of information per second over a single fiber. These innovations demonstrate Lucent’s continual exploration of new technologies that will enable our customers to transmit limitless bandwidth at virtually no cost to them."

Rapid progress in the telecommunications industry, fueled by continuing growth in Internet use, has increased demand for high-capacity optical systems that rely on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology. WDM involves transmitting digitized voice, data and video, in the form of light pulses, over multiple wavelengths.

The Bell Labs experimental ultra-wideband optical amplifiers span almost seven times the optical bandwidth of optical amplifiers used in today’s commercial WDM systems.

Bell Labs scientists and engineers presented six post-deadline papers, six short courses and 34 technical talks in the OFC program. Lucent Technologies also exhibited products from its Optical Networking and Microelectronics business groups.

Bell Labs, a global leader in optical technology, holds more than 1600 patents in optical technology. Lucent, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data-networking systems, business telephone systems and microelectronic components. More information on Lucent Technologies is available at http://www.lucent.com.

OFC, the major North American conference on optical-fiber communications and related systems and applications, is co-sponsored by the Optical Society of America, the IEEE/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, and the IEEE/Communications Society.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Lucent's Bell Labs Scientists Report World's First Long-Distance Transmission Of A Trillion Bits Of Data, Using 100 Colors Of Light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980302081444.htm>.
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. (1998, March 2). Lucent's Bell Labs Scientists Report World's First Long-Distance Transmission Of A Trillion Bits Of Data, Using 100 Colors Of Light. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980302081444.htm
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Lucent's Bell Labs Scientists Report World's First Long-Distance Transmission Of A Trillion Bits Of Data, Using 100 Colors Of Light." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980302081444.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

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