Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Time Telescopes" to Increase Data Transfer Speed 27 Times Faster Than Current

Special lenses creating a 'time telescope' may be able to increase the transfer speed of fiber optic cables by 27x. It works be adding more data into each light pulse. The light is not speeding up, but each 'light information packet' has much more information.

"If it were up to us, everything would be faster by at least one order of magnitude, but the laws of physics often get in the way of unlimited speed and efficiency. Take fiber optic data transfer: the pulses of light carrying data through the worldwide network of fiber optics move really fast, but alas, cannot go any faster than they do. However, scientists at Cornell University have figured out a way to pack more data into those pulses of light, using a system they're calling a "time telescope," which has the potential to increase fiber optic data speeds by 27 times.

The "time telescope" works by passing the data-laden pulses of light through two "time lenses." A silicon waveguide combines a passing light pulse with another infrared laser pulse that vibrates the atoms of the waveguide, in turn shifting the frequencies of the pulse before it exits the waveguide. The front of the wave pulse is shifted down in frequency, the back end shifted up. The result: the front slows, the rear speeds up, and the light pulse crushes together like a soda can that's been stepped on, with the rear catching up to the front right at the lens's focal point.

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