University of Illinois researchers Nick Holonyak, Milton Feng, Curtis Wang, and Michael Liu set a new data transmission speed record by their data-blitz at 50 Gbps – and they did it at room temperature!
Photo caption: Pictured are, from left, graduate students Curtis Wang and Michael Liu with Professor Milton Feng. Photo: L. Brian Stauffer
Ever wondered why data centers are kept chilled always? That’s because so far, data exchange at great speeds can happen only at lower-than-room temperatures. And that means huge power-bills and carbon emissions. “..But you don’t want your devices to carry chiller plants to speed-transmit. We wanted to devise a technology that keeps firing data at huge speeds right at the room temperature, and all the way up to 85 degrees…” says Feng, the head of this project.
And that means you can share the entire season one of ‘Orange is the New Black’ in under a minute - in hot sun - and in full HD quality! Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) demand blazing fast transmissions, cheap, and anywhere. “Our big question has always been, how do you make information transmit faster? There is a lot of data out there, but if your transmission is not fast enough, you cannot use data that’s been collected; you cannot use upcoming technologies that use large data streams, like virtual reality” Says Feng.
Feng believes that this optical-fiber based technology won’t just be limited to data centers: it is much lighter than the traditional copper-wires based data-center apparatuses. And which makes Feng’s stuff quite useful for airplanes and other devices that can’t afford tons heavy transmission equipment. Stay tuned for more. Feng’s promised he’ll keep posting updates on this cool innovation for high temperatures!