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Scratched optic fibre provides terabit speeds

Voice&Data staff

Australians could soon experience internet speeds of one terabit per second (1 Tb/s), thanks to an innovation by scientists from the University of Sydney.

The scientists, from the Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) at Sydney University’s Physics department, announced their findings at the Opto-Electronics and Communications Conference yesterday.

“We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more,” said CUDOS’ director, Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton.

The secret to the speed increase lies in making a “scratch” in optical fibres. Eggleton said the circuit uses the scratch as a “switching path for information”.

The switch can activate around a million times per second, ultimately providing the capacity for the 1 Tb/s connection.

“As we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant web gratification. Photonic technology delivers what’s needed and, more importantly, what’s wanted.”

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