Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advancing next generation of high-speed optical communication networks

Date:
November 29, 2012
Source:
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Summary:
Scientists have recently achieved a breakthrough in the research of high-speed optical communications by increasing the speed of optical communication networks by 40 times.

The Photonics Research Centre at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has recently achieved a breakthrough in researching high-speed optical communications by increasing the speed of optical communication networks by 40 times.

This breakthrough has attracted the attention of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a leading global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution provider, to provide funding and equipment for further developing the leading-edge technology and filing patents.

The research was jointly undertaken by Professor Alex Wai, PolyU Vice President (Research Development), Professor Chao Lu of the Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Professor Hwa-yaw Tam and Dr Alan Pak-tao Lau, Chair Professor and Assistant Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering respectively. "With this breakthrough, one can download over 177-hours-worth of YouTube video in a second," Professor Wai said. The findings have also been published in top international journals such as Optics Express, Photonics Technology Letters and Journal of Lightwave Technology.

The development of optical communications has made steadfast advancement since the invention/discovery of fibre optics by Professor Charles Kao, Nobel Laureate in Physics and former Vice-Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Over the years, fibre optics has formed the backbone of modern information technology. With the increasing dominance of smart mobile devices and bandwidth-hungry applications such as cloud computing, YouTube, Facebook and other social network activities, the overall speed demand are increasing at an unprecedented rate and major telecommunication service providers are incessantly looking for technological breakthroughs that could further push the network speed limits.

The speed of optical communications largely depends on distortions of the information signals generated from its interactions with silicon dioxide molecules that make up optical fibre. However, the higher the speed of information transmission, the more likely the signal will be distorted. When such distortions are large enough, detection errors will occur at the receiving end. If the information cannot be correctly transmitted, the whole communication system will be considered useless.

Currently, the most commonly deployed optical communication systems operate at 10Gb/s, i.e. 10 billion binary digits (bits) per second. Professor Lu and Dr Lau have cleverly combined optics, statistics and signal processing technology that greatly increase the speed of network by 40 times, i.e. 4 trillion bits per second. In particular, based on experimental observations, they found that distortions of the light signal generated from silicon dioxide molecules inside an optical fibre are not totally random. In fact, the distortions follow certain statistical characteristics.

PolyU researchers therefore proposed the use of "coherent detection," in which optical signal is first converted into electrical signal so that the data information can be preserved. This is followed by the use of more mature electronic signal processing technologies extensively used in all computers, smartphones and the like. This latest technological advance has attracted the attention of Huawei.

A Huawei spokesperson said, "A lot of universities have come up with innovative ideas that sound really out-of-the-box at first glance. However, most of them cannot overcome physical and cost constraints that the idea cannot make their way to a commercial product. From the industry standpoint, the deliverables of this PolyU research are cost-effective and can meet the practical needs of our society, bringing real benefits for mankind."

"We are pleased to see that leveraging on its strengths in scientific research, PolyU has successfully developed the fastest optical transmission systems with significant cost effectiveness. This really helps us to maintain our lead in the industry and lay down a solid foundation for our sustained growth in the future," the spokesperson added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "Advancing next generation of high-speed optical communication networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129103210.htm>.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. (2012, November 29). Advancing next generation of high-speed optical communication networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129103210.htm
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "Advancing next generation of high-speed optical communication networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129103210.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins