Scientists Have Broken One of the Biggest Limits in Fibre Optic Networks

Essentially what the UC San Diego researchers did was to develop a system (frequency comb) that acts a bit like a concert conductor, which is the person responsible for tuning multiple instruments in an orchestra to the same pitch at the beginning of a concert.

The engineers then used this comb to synchronize the frequency variations of the different streams of optical information (optical carriers), which can compensate in advance for the crosstalk interference (this will be familiar to those who have been reading about FTTC / VDSL2 Vectoring technology on copper cables) that can occur between multiple communication channels within the fibre optic cable. The frequency comb also ensures that the crosstalk interference is reversible.

Source: Scientists Have Broken One of the Biggest Limits in Fibre Optic Networks – ISPreview UK

Innovation boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold

Experts say that recent advances in LED technology have made it possible to modulate the LED light more rapidly, opening the possibility of using light for wireless transmission in a “free space” optical communication system.

“In addition to improving the experience for users, the two big advantages of this system are that it uses inexpensive components, and it integrates with existing WiFi systems,” said Thinh Nguyen, an OSU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Nguyen worked with Alan Wang, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, to build the first prototype.

via Innovation boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold.

The electromagnetic spectrum with wifi can be flakey and interconnecting access points using this spectrum can fail frequently and cause significant bandwidth problems.  Integrating led tech into devices may take time to develop some kind of standard but using this for point to point wireless communication could prove very useful in certain use cases.

The unbelievable benefits of the USG CIO’s bottomless bucket of bandwidth

Our private cloud configuration allows our CIOs the luxury of not focusing on bandwidth because it always works. We’ve been able to layer value-added services on top of it — more traditional services like bandwidth as a service, software as a service, backup as a service, and virtual data centers as a service. Our institutions now can focus on students and the value they add to our schools, not on IT as a standalone commodity.

via The unbelievable benefits of the USG CIO’s bottomless bucket of bandwidth | The Enterprisers Project.

Nanoscale optical switch breaks miniaturization barrier

The ultrafast switch is made out of an artificial material engineered to have properties that are not found in nature. In this case, the “metamaterial” consists of nanoscale particles of vanadium dioxide (VO2) – a crystalline solid that can rapidly switch back and forth between an opaque, metallic phase and a transparent, semiconducting phase – which are deposited on a glass substrate and coated with a “nanomesh” of tiny gold nanoparticles.

The scientists report that bathing these gilded nanoparticles with brief pulses from an ultrafast laser generates hot electrons in the gold nanomesh that jump into the vanadium dioxide and cause it to undergo its phase change in a few trillionths of a second.

via Nanoscale optical switch breaks miniaturization barrier | Research News @ Vanderbilt | Vanderbilt University.

BT and Alcatel-Lucent Claim Fastest Real World Fibre Optic Speed of 1.4Tbps

Admittedly some of you might look at this and point out that Alcatel-Lucent has already successfully transmitted data at the staggering speed of 31Tbps (Terabits per second) over a single long-haul 7200km optical fibre cable (here). Similarly a UK team managed to push 73.7Tbps down a hollow fibre optic cable (here). But the difference here is that BT has pulled off an impressive improvement using an existing link in a real-world environment with commercial grade hardware. ISPs will be happy to hear that.

via BT and Alcatel-Lucent Claim Fastest Real World Fibre Optic Speed of 1.4Tbps – ISPreview UK.

Tellabs to be taken private for $891M

Earlier this year, Tellabs said it would lay off 300 workers, or about 12 percent of its workforce, as it discontinues a line of routers amid struggles to turn a profit. The company also reduced its workforce by more than 500 last year, including 100 positions in the fourth quarter.

via Tellabs to be taken private for $891M –

Barbarians at the Gateways

The goal of this article is to introduce the problems on both sides of the wire. Today a big Wall Street trader is more likely to have a Ph.D from Caltech or MIT than an MBA from Harvard or Yale. The reality is that automated trading is the new marketplace, accounting for an estimated 77 percent of the volume of transactions in the U.K. market and 73 percent in the U.S. market. As a community, it’s starting to push the limits of physics. Today it is possible to buy a custom ASIC application- specific integrated circuit to parse market data and send executions in 740 nanoseconds or 0.00074 milliseconds.4 Human reaction time to a visual stimulus is around 190 million nanoseconds.

via Barbarians at the Gateways – ACM Queue.

By 2005, most shops were also modifying kernels and/or running realtime kernels. I left HFT in late 2005 and returned in 2009, only to discover that the world was approaching absurdity: by 2009 we were required to operate well below the one-millisecond barrier, and were looking at tick-to-trade requirements of 250 microseconds. Tick to trade is the time it takes to:

1. Receive a packet at the network interface.

2. Process the packet and run through the business logic of trading.

3. Send a trade packet back out on the network interface.

To do this, we used realtime kernels with bypass drivers (either InfiniBand or via Solarflare’s

Ciena Packs New 10-Gig Punch

The 5160 and 5142 Service Aggregation Switches are aimed at making it more economical for service providers to offer 10-Gig Ethernet services, a rapidly growing category of Ethernet today, says Mike Adams, VP of Product & Technical Marketing at Ciena. The new boxes also target the internal bandwidth needs of large enterprises in datacenters, and they are designed for outdoor deployment so service providers can push more bandwidth closer to their customers and use these switches as aggregation points.

via Ciena Packs New 10-Gig Punch | Light Reading.

By deploying pairs of 5160s in core network locations such as Central Offices, Ritter has been able to have carrier-grade redundancy with dual homing for fiber-optic rings while achieving the same throughput as a much more expensive 10 Gig core switch, he says.

NASA aiming for moon again, this time from Va., to probe thinnest of atmospheres, lunar dust

Hitching a ride on LADEE is an experimental laser communication system designed to handle higher data rates than currently available. NASA hopes to eventually replace its traditional radio systems with laser communications, which uses less power and requires smaller transmitters and receivers, while providing lightning-fast bandwidth.

via NASA aiming for moon again, this time from Va., to probe thinnest of atmospheres, lunar dust – The Washington Post.

Alcatel-Lucent Breaks Record with 31Tbps Over a Single Fibre Optic Cable

The experiment itself, which was carried out at by the firms R&D focused Bell Labs division on the Innovation City campus in Villarceaux (Paris), is understood to have used 155 lasers. Each laser was operating at different frequencies and carrying 200Gbps of data (single-carrier data channels) over a 50GHz frequency grid.

Normally such signals suffer from distortions and noise, which limit performance, but it’s understood that Alcatel-Lucent were able to resolve this by using an enhanced version of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) that works by splitting light up into different wavelengths so that it can carry more data (a variety of other methods were also used).

via Alcatel-Lucent Breaks Record with 31Tbps Over a Single Fibre Optic Cable – ISPreview UK.