News & Views
Performance Jump increases Potential for Hollow Core Technology
Mar 18 2020
A new leap in hollow-core fibre performance achieved by researchers from the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, University of Southampton, is believed to be able to reach lower loss and higher data transmission capacity than all-solid glass fibres, with current research accelerating models toward this peak performance.
Using technology being advanced at the Zepler Institutes’ Optoeletronics Research Centre (ORC) in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Department of Engineering, the attenuation in data-transmitting hollow-core fibres has been reduced over the last 18 months by over a factor of 10, from 3.5dB/km to only 0.28 dB/km within a factor of two of the attenuation of conventional all-glass fibre technology. At the same time, the maximum transmission distance at which large bandwidth data streams can be transmitted through an air-core has been improved by over 10 times, from 75 to 750km.
Professor Francesco Poletti, Head of the ORC’s Hollow core fibre group, said: “Transmitting light in an air core rather than a glass core presents many advantages which could revolutionise optical communications as we know them. These latest results further reduce the performance gap between hollow core fibre and mainstream optical fibre technology, and the whole team is really excited by the prospect of the additional significant improvements that seem possible, according to modelling.
“Latency, which is the round-trip time for communications, is becoming as important as bandwidth for the new digital economy. Network latency creates a delay between sensing and its response, causing sickness in AR/VR users, loss of fidelity in remote surgery and accidents in autonomous systems. These fibres deliver a vital 30% reduction in round-trip data transmission times and could enable the next generation of connected real-time digital applications, from smart manufacturing and advanced healthcare to entertainment.”
The considerable improvements in attenuation and transmission distance demonstrated in these two works open up the possibility to target longer reach distances, edging close to the 1,000km span of typical long distance long haul terrestrial data transmission links.
Further information at www. Southampton .ac.uk
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