‘Photonic’ switching system to boost broadband speeds 100-fold

July 10th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, July 10 (IANS) Scientists have developed a new ‘photonic’ switching system that will boost broadband speeds up to a 100-fold. The photonic integrated circuit (PIC) will ensure almost instantaneous, error-free and unlimited access to the Internet anywhere in the world, according to the Centre for Ultra-high Bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS).

“This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there. We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more,” said Ben Eggleton, director of CUDOS, University of Sydney.

Eggleton, whose team beat their deadline by a year, said that until now information has been moving at a slow rate but optical fibres have a huge capacity to deliver more.

“This circuit uses the ’scratch’ or PIC as a guide or a switching path for information - kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another - except this switch takes only one pico-second to change tracks,” he said.

This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times. We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity.”

This initial demonstration proves it is possible to achieve speeds 60 times faster than current networks. With further development, the process is likely to produce even faster results, reports Sciencealert.

“Currently, we use electronics for our switching and that has been OK but 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,” Eggleton added.

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