Facebook and Nokia have teamed up to send record-breaking amounts of data thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. In recent tests, a new type of optical digital signal processing technology from Nokia Bell Labs achieved a capacity that’s roughly 2.5 times that of current systems, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Daily Mail.
The technology, running along a subsea cable that stretches from New York to Ireland, could make for much more efficient data transmission as bandwidth-hungry online activities such as virtual reality continue to grow.
Nokia Bell Labs’ new technology, called ‘probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS),’ brings the system up to a transmission capacity that’s just shy of the physical limits of fiber-optic cables, according to the firms.
Researchers tested it out across a 5,500 kilometer (3,415 mile) cable in the Atlantic, and found it hit a new record of spectral efficiency, at 7.46 b/s/Hz.
And, it bumped the system up to nearly 2.5 times its stated capacity.
In the future, they say it may even be possible to achieve 32 Tb/sec per fiber.
‘Facebook wants to increase the pace of innovation and adoption of next-generation optical technologies,’ said Dr Stephen Grubb, global optical network architect at Facebook.
‘This field trial with Nokia demonstrates that the scalable optical technology of PCS together with narrow linewidth laser sources can achieve capacities extremely close to the Shannon limit.
‘This ensures that we are both maximizing our investment in submarine cable systems, as well as continuing to drive the cost per bit of submarine transport lower.’
Last year, tech giants revealed a plan to build an 8,000 mile undersea internet cable across the Pacific Ocean to connect Los Angeles to Hong Kong.
The effort, including Google, Facebook, Pacific Light Data Communication, and TE SubCom, would construct a system that’s twice as powerful as the record-holding Faster cable that went live last June, which was said to be 10 million times quicker than a modem.
They plan to have it completed by 2018.
According to the researchers, the new ultra high-capacity system would be able to support 80 million simultaneous HD video conference calls between Asia and North America, and will bring faster speeds and increased security.
Plans for the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) were announced on the Google Cloud Platform Blog.
The cable will be the highest capacity trans-Pacific system, with a capacity of 120 terabits-per-second, and is the sixth undersea cable the Google has taken part in.
‘From the get-go, PLCN is designed to accommodate evolving infrastructure technology, allowing us to independently choose network equipment and refresh optical technology as it advances,’ the Google team wrote.
‘Most importantly, PLCN will bring lower latency, more security, and greater bandwidth to Google users in the APAC region.’
Along with this, the firm says it will expand Google’s reach in Asia for Google Cloud and G Suite users.
Just months before that, Google revealed the completion of its subsea cable system that stretches from the United States to Japan.
The $300 million ‘Faster’ cable system is backed by six companies, including Google, and runs through the Pacific Ocean from Oregon to Chiba and Mie.
The system currently has a greater total capacity than any other undersea cable, Google SVP of Technical Infrastructure Urs Hölzle revealed in a blog post.
It can deliver 60 terabits per second of bandwidth 5,600 miles across the ocean, bringing high speed connection to users in the US and Japan.