Postgraduate student's research could bring faster internet
10 May 2010
Video conferencing and telecommunications could soon be instantaneous thanks to research being carried out by University of Sydney postgraduate student, Trung Duc Vo.
Vo is part of a collaboration with the Australian National University and Danish Technical University, which has achieved unprecedented bandwidth capacity and utilisation: up to 100 times faster than the current networks.
He was first author on an acclaimed paper in which these world-first results were presented in a prestigious post-deadline session at the Optical Fibre Communications Conference recently held in San Diego, USA.
His work is part of CUDOS, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, based in the School of Physics.
Vo said the growing demand for higher bandwidth was a major motivation behind the push to increase the transmission rate per-channel of optical systems.
"My research will lead to communication speeds around 100 times faster than the current networks but could be increased by another factor of 10," he said.
Vo is also researching how optical time division multiplexing (OTDM) acts as a method of allowing Tbaud data generation by avoiding the usual electrical-optical-electrical conversion in processing information.
"Whereas transistors switch on and off and generate heat, photons hardly heat at all and cooling time is a thousand times faster than electronics," he said.
"Electrical-optical-electrical conversion is like driving in heavy traffic, then you hit the freeway and you're zooming along, then you take the exit and you're stuck in traffic again. This is what we're all currently using but 'optics only' is the way of the future.
"Our approach utilises a photonic chip solution which is potentially very simple and compact. By using photons and optics only, we'll be communicating on the freeway the whole time. It means better communication, more bandwidth yet less energy being used."
Professor Ben Eggleton, Director of CUDOS, said Vo's research and results represent another CUDOS record for optical processing.
"We have demonstrated the feasibility of a Tbaud Ethernet link using a photonic chip that generates the signal at the transmitter and uses the same chip to optically switch the signal at the receiver," he said.
"This is very exciting research."
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