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Feeling blue might lead to faster broadband

Feeling blue might lead to faster broadband
From TechCrunch - October 19, 2017

In what could amount to a sea change in the way we transmit data over fiber optics, researchers at University College London have found a new way speed things up by changing the color of the transmitted light.

To maximise the capacity of optical fibre links, data is transmitted using different wavelengths, or colours, of light. Ideally, wed dedicate a wavelength to each subscriber to avoid the bandwidth sharing between the users. Although this is already possible using highly sensitive hardware known as coherent receivers, they are costly and only financially viable in core networks that link countries and cities, said Professor Polina Bayvel.

The new receivers are simpler than previous coherent receivers and use only a quarter of the detectors. Further, a new coding technique ensures that the speed is not affected by signal fading and that fiber can be used both downstream and upstream.

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