Between the covers of optical communication research journals, heated arguments have been waged, leading to ‘a stand-up row, almost’, according to Professor Polina Bayvel from University College London. The disagreements centre on whether optical fibres exhibit a ‘nonlinear Shannon limit’ to their capacity. The dispute emerges from a question that challenges the whole industry. Is the future of fibre-optic technology already facing a fundamental, impenetrable, nonlinearity obstacle? It’s a theoretical question with potentially huge practical implications.
We live in a world of virtualised resources and distributed systems. From evolving radio access networks, to algorithmic and high-frequency trading platforms, to smart national power grids and beyond, all these environments are designed for flawless performance and need to be timed with increasing precision. To ensure that performance is maximised, all appliances in a network need to be interconnected at the lowest latency and synchronised to sub-microsecond precision, ensuring tight coordination.
Cost and compatibility can make a compelling case for pushing 100Gb/s bandwidth over a single optical channel, both as individual links and supporting 400Gb/s Ethernet, finds Andy Extance
Robin Mersh takes a look at how the industry is creating next-generation optical access fit for 5G
Technological advances to aid the increasing demand for bandwidth, on the path towards the terabit network, should lead to optical signals that are flexible and adaptive, like water, argues Dr Maxim Kuschnerov and Dr Yin Wang