comment on this article

UCL researchers double the error free transmission distance for subsea optical cables

A new way to process fibre optic signals has been demonstrated by UCL researchers, who claim the approach could double the distance over which data travels error-free through submarine cables. Because the new method does not require signals to be boosted, it has the potential to reduce the costs of long-distance optical fibre communications.

The work, sponsored by EPSRC, addresses a new way of improving the transmission distance by undoing interactions between different optical channels as they travel over an optical cable.

Study author Dr Robert Maher said: "By eliminating the interactions between optical channels, we can double the distance signals can be transmitted error free from 3190km to 5890km – the largest increase ever reported for this system architecture.

"The challenge is to devise a technique to simultaneously capture a group of optical channels, known as a 'super channel', with a single receiver. This allows us to undo the distortion by sending the data channels back on a virtual digital journey at the same time."

The researchers used a '16QAM super channel', comprised of a set of frequencies which could be coded using amplitude, phase and frequency to create a high capacity optical signal. The super channel was then detected using a high speed super receiver and new signal processing techniques developed by the team enabled the reception of all the channels together and without error.

The researchers now plan to test the new method on the denser super-channels commonly used in digital cable TV (64QAM), cable modems (256QAM) and Ethernet connections (1024QAM).

Polina Bayvel, Professor of Optical Communications and Networks, added: "We're excited to report such an important finding that will improve fibre optic communications. Our method greatly improves the efficiency of transmission of data – almost doubling the transmission distances that can be achieved, with the potential to make significant savings over current state-of-the art commercial systems. One of the biggest global challenges we face is how to maintain communications with demand for the Internet booming – overcoming the capacity limits of optical fibres cables is a large part of solving that problem."

Graham Pitcher

Comment on this article

This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

What you think about this article:

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

NAND mobile solution

Micron Technology has begun volume shipments of the world’s first 176-layer ...

IoT face detection

Maxim Integrated Products and Xailient, a company focused on artificial ...

16 Mp XGS sensor

ON Semiconductor has introduced the latest addition to the XGS series of CMOS ...

8-Channel ReDriver

Diodes Incorporated has announced a new addition to its extensive range of ...

Get to market faster

A quick look at using Vicor's PFM and AIM in VIA packaging for your AC to Point ...

Digital consciousness

​Would you consider uploading your brain to the cloud if it meant you could ...

Building resilience

James Woodhead talks to New Electronics about the need to build greater ...