Experiment Opens Up Avenue to Reduce Energy Use in High-speed Internet


Recently, researchers from the University of Vermont and University of Texas have come up with an optical medium wherein many beams of light can automatically rectify their properties without impacting other beams. The discovery is expected to bring about a drastic reduction in the cost and slash consumption of energy too of high-speed internet connections.

Nonlinear-optical effects, namely intensity-dependent refractive index, find application in processing data in a way more speedy fashion than electronically. This type of processing, so far, has been effective for only one optical beam at a time since the nonlinear-optical effects result in unwanted crosstalk, which is inter-beam interaction, in case of many light beams present.

Experiment Conducted Through Optical Medium

In the research article published in the Nature Communications journal, the lead researchers have discussed the experiment they have carried out using an optical medium. The research has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

It allows nonlinear-optical processing of many light beams at the same time through a single device without changing them to electrical form. In this manner it paves a way for the technology to attain its full multi-Terabit per second potential, bringing about less expensive high-speed internet communications that consume less energy too.

At present, to do away with the noise gathered during the propagation of light in optical communication links, telecom carriers bank upon frequent optoelectronic regeneration. Since each optical fiber is capable of conducting more than a hundred different signals of different wavelengths, to carry out such an optoelectronic regeneration for each wavelength separately will make the process costly and ineffective.

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