Researchers have harnessed streams of light to transfer massive amounts of data. In a recent test, they hit 2.56 terabytes per second. Simplify the language and that’s about the equivalent of transferring over 67,000 songs per second.
Before getting too giddy, this was an experiment over one meter. Still though, add this to a very interesting, data heavy future.
Researchers at USC, JPL and Tel Aviv University have managed to transfer 2.56 terabits of information by multiplexing 8 x 300Gbps “twisted” streams of visible light into a single beam. The feat exploits a phenomenon which, up until recently, scientists thought may have been impossible to achieve with light: orbital angular momentum (OAM).
OAM, the way a wave can be made to twist around itself, is what makes the team’s discovery particularly exciting. It also makes their findings incredibly useful for wireless data transmission. Making light beams spiral to create an optical vortex is not necessarily a new idea, but putting that phenomenon to work for the transmitting information is something researchers have been striving for.