This ridiculous speed was reached by using a series of signal processing techniques. The experiments were set up by several scientists at University College London.
To put this transmission speed into context, lead research Dr. Robert Maher stated in a press release that, “this is almost 50,000 times greater than the average speed of a UK broadband connection of 24 megabits per second… To give an example, the data rate we have achieved would allow the entire HD Game of Thrones series to be downloaded within one second.”
To send the data, this set-up uses 15 different channels containing optical signals of different wavelengths. “Using high-bandwidth super-receivers enables us to receive an entire super-channel in one go,” Maher says. “However, using a single receiver varies the levels of performance of each optical sub-channel so we had to finely optimize both the modulation format and code rate for each optical channel individually to maximize the net information data rate. This ultimately resulted in us achieving the greatest information rate ever recorded using a single receiver.”
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Now, it is important to keep in mind that we won’t be zipping through downloads anytime soon. For these experiments, the scientists connected the transmitter directly to the receiver. To further the experiment, their next step is to link the two using optical fibers. This will cause the signal to distort as it travels through the fibers.
Still, this is an impressive step for faster data transmission. Imagine one day being able to select download on the next big AAA game and start playing mere seconds later. We can dream.