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Filling the light pipe

Filling the light pipe
Filling the light pipe
It has been a landmark year for the field of optical telecommunications, with the award of the 2009 Nobel Prize to Charles Kao for his insight in the mid-1960s that the future of communications lay in single-mode silica-based optical fibers (1) as well as the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of the laser—both key technologies responsible for the development of the global-scale communications networks of today (2). Recently, however, a growing realization has emerged within the telecommunications industry that the end of the phenomenal growth in optical fiber communication capacity is within sight. At this year's Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC 2010), several groups reported results within a factor of 2 of the ultimate capacity limits of existing optical fiber technology. Without radical innovation in our physical network infrastructure—that is, improvements in the key physical properties of transmission fibers and the optical amplifiers that we rely on to transmit data over long distances—we face what has been widely referred to as a "capacity crunch" that could severely constrain future Internet growth, as well as having social and political ramifications.
0036-8075
327-328
Richardson, David J.
ebfe1ff9-d0c2-4e52-b7ae-c1b13bccdef3
Richardson, David J.
ebfe1ff9-d0c2-4e52-b7ae-c1b13bccdef3

Richardson, David J. (2010) Filling the light pipe. Science, 330 (6002), 327-328. (doi:10.1126/science.1191708).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has been a landmark year for the field of optical telecommunications, with the award of the 2009 Nobel Prize to Charles Kao for his insight in the mid-1960s that the future of communications lay in single-mode silica-based optical fibers (1) as well as the 50th anniversary of the first demonstration of the laser—both key technologies responsible for the development of the global-scale communications networks of today (2). Recently, however, a growing realization has emerged within the telecommunications industry that the end of the phenomenal growth in optical fiber communication capacity is within sight. At this year's Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC 2010), several groups reported results within a factor of 2 of the ultimate capacity limits of existing optical fiber technology. Without radical innovation in our physical network infrastructure—that is, improvements in the key physical properties of transmission fibers and the optical amplifiers that we rely on to transmit data over long distances—we face what has been widely referred to as a "capacity crunch" that could severely constrain future Internet growth, as well as having social and political ramifications.

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Published date: October 2010

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 177033
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/177033
ISSN: 0036-8075
PURE UUID: a7ea46fd-54b4-42a6-a54e-f37eb009d2da
ORCID for David J. Richardson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7751-1058

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Date deposited: 14 Mar 2011 13:58
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:24

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