No matter how fast our broadband connections get, it seems like we’re always wanting more – and the good news is that more is on the way. A team of engineers has just used a new type of laser-based transmission technology to smash data transfer records, achieving an incredibly speedy 57 gigabits per second at room temperature.
That room temperature factor is important, because it shows that the technology could eventually be applied to our homes and offices (typically, the warmer the temperature, the slower the data transfer). Plus the bits and bytes were beamed without any errors – another significant factor in assessing the technology’s mass market viability.
To put it in perspective, 57 Gbps is enough to download a whole Blu-ray in just a few seconds. That’s the fastest ever data transmission speed over a new type of laser called a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), which is used across fibre optic lines – the type of cabling that underpins much of the broadband infrastructure that’s already in place in our homes and offices.