LONDON Researchers at Siemens have set what they say is a record of 107Gbit/s electric transmission of data over a single fiber-optic cable of just over 100 miles.
The test was done in partnership with Micram Microelectronic of Bochum, Germany, Berlin's Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications and Eindhoven Technical University of The Netherlands.
Siemens (Munich, Germany) said the data rate was achieved by using a specially developed transmission and receiving system that processes the data by purely electrical means directly before and after its conversion into optical signals.
The company claims the speed is 2.5 times faster than the previous transmission record on a live fiber link. It was conducted using the long-haul network of a large but un-named U.S. network operator, where Siemens previously deployed a 40 Gbit/s optical link for commercial use.
Operators are having to deploy ever faster and denser bandwidths as more customers start downloading online games, music and video. Market researchers such as Forester Research estimate that by 2011 legal music downloads alone will account for 36 percent of the entire music business in Europe.
Siemens had already demonstrated a precursor of the ground-breaking technology with a fully electric receiver, said Rainer Derksen, project coordinator at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich. "At that time we were still using optical multiplexing in the transmitter. Now we've designed a complete system with 100 percent electrical processing of the data in both the receiver and the transmitter."
Derksen said he expects that the first products based on the prototype will be available on the market within a few years.
He added such capabilities will be necessary for the future 100Gbit/s Ethernet on which the network providers are currently working and which are expected to become the cornerstone technology of the next decadeís backbone networks.