Scientists have been working on a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that is capable of increasing internet speeds by a hefty 60 times.
The PIC not only boosts to a 60x speed but also can monitor the speeds and keep the information error free.
ARC Federation Fellow Professor Ben Eggleton realized his team had ‘effectively unblocked the bottleneck of Internet traffic when they first announced the device in July 2008. The PIC is a scratched piece of glass, which achieves its terabit per second capacity by using ‘the ‘scratch’ as a guide or a switching path for information – kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another – except this switch takes only one picosecond to change tracks. This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million million times. Says Eggleton. What the team didn’t realize at the time was that the chip not only allows for high rates of data transmission but that it also monitors the integrity of that transmission a critical element that keeps the traffic flowing.
With this kind of switching speed, maybe our 20Mbps home internet connections will one day seem like 2400 baud modems of old.