Japan's NTT, KDDI and Sumitomo have set a new transmission capacity record of 118.5Tbps over conventional thickness optical fiber.
Working with Fujikura, Furukawa Electric, NEC and the Chiba Institute of Technology, the companies developed a multi-core fiber with four optical paths that fit in the same diameter of currently used single core optical fiber.
A multi-core transmission system was constructed using three multi-core optical amplifiers fabricated by NEC, KDDI Research, NTT and Furukawa, inserted at each end of three spans of cable.
The breakthrough also demonstrates the concept of multi-core fiber based long-haul and large capacity transmission systems consisting of multiple vendor technologies.
The companies aim to commercially introduce the multi-core fiber technology by the early 2020s, helping contribute to the development of a future optical infrastructure that can meet the projected cascading growth in data consumption.
While ultra large capacity transmission experiments using a multi-core fiber with 10 or more cores have been development, these technologies require a thicker glass diameter than the standard 125 micrometer used in conventional fiber, which would require major advances in the fabrication process.
The companies said the multi-core fiber using a conventional diameter is able to use existing fiber technology, but limits the number of cores to 4-5.