It's easy to take a lot of things for granted when they are part of our everyday lives - like the Internet, for example! Although I do remember a time before the Internet was in my home, it wasn't a huge period; I definitely had online access as early as middle or high school. I don't often stop to think about what an amazing thing it is, but on the occasions where I do it's definitely one of those "whoa" moments.
Recently, a team from the Technical University of Denmark and Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology shattered the data transfer record set by Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). A new chip using a single laser exceeded NICT's record of 1.02 petabits per second with an astonishing 1.84 Pbit/s - the equivalent of moving "twice the total global Internet traffic" in just one second.
Many of us have Internet connections at home that are fast enough to stream video content at resolutions even higher than 4K, but there's still lots of room for improvement when it comes to Internet speeds overall. Anyone who's had to wait hours upon hours to download that game you've been waiting years to release will understand this pain! Funny to think that an infrared laser shining down a bundle of fiber optic cables is the promising solution to it all.
Adding more cables to deliver data across the Internet is the same as expanding the capacity of a highway by adding more lanes for traffic. However, the possibilities for upgrades in this way aren't endless, which is why researchers are constantly studying new ways to improve how the existing infrastructure can move data more efficiently.
If you want to know more about it, a paper published in Nature Photonics journal has a lot of really cool information. You can also check out the article on Gizmodo, which is where I first learned about this.
What kinds of strides are you hoping to see in the realm of internet speeds and data transfer? Is this something you watch closely, or take for granted like I do? Let me hear from you!