Fibre-optic record for Siemens

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Siemens has successfully field tested the transmission of a 100 per cent electrically processed signal at data rates of 107Gbits per second, 2.5 times faster than the current maximum.

The exercise, carried out in cooperation with Micram, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (Heinrich-Hertz-Institut) and Eindhoven Technical University, was the first time this has ever been done outside the laboratory.

The record performance was made possible by a transmission and receiving system that processes the data by purely electrical means directly before and after its conversion into optical signals.

On the high-speed routes of the internet, data is transported in the form of light signals. Until now, for very high data rates, signals had to be split into multiple lower data rate signals and later be reconverted from optical to electrical in order to avoid data bottlenecks in the downstream electronics. This adds cost and reduces system capacity.

The test was conducted over a 100-mile (161km) long fibre-optic route at one of world’s largest optical network operators in the US, in which Siemens has previously deployed a 40Gbits per second optical network for commercial use.

Such a system would be particularly interesting for the future 100-Gbit/s-Ethernet on which telecommunication providers are currently working.