Dense wave division multiplexing gets denser

SilkRoad, an upstart in fibre transmission technology, recently made big claims about revolutionising the use of fibre-optic cable.

Likening SilkRoad's technological achievements to those of Newton and Einstein, the company says it can theoretically cram up to 10Tbytes/sec of data on a single fibre strand using a single laser. The company also claims that the technology will be able to send data in both directions simultaneously over the same strand.

Its signal can travel up to 200 miles without repeaters to strengthen the signal; four times the distance capabilities of dense wave division multiplexing. DWDM is considered the most advanced fibre transmission technology.

In addition, SilkRoad claims it can send all that data using just a single colour laser. This approach differs from DWDM, which uses multiple lasers of different colours to establish separate channels.

SilkRoad plans to have its first product ready during the first quarter of 1999. The product will transmit more than 30 channels in one direction over a single fibre. Two-way transmission on the same fibre strand as well as more channels per fibre will come later, the company says.

The company is privately funded, and officials claim it has plenty of offers for more cash from some of its potential carrier customers.

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