Siemens sets network speed record

Siemens achieves 107Gbps over a 100-mile fiber-optic cable in the U.S.

The race to push more bits down broadband networks has leaped ahead with Siemens achieving a transmission speed of 107Gbps (bits per second) over a single optical fiber.

The speed, which Siemens claims sets a record for electrical processing of data through a fiber-optic cable, was reached over a 100-mile route in the U.S., the company said Wednesday.

Siemens has developed a new transmission and receiving system that is able to process data directly before and after its conversion into optical signals using electrical processing only. Current systems handling very high data rates have to split signals into multiple lower data-rate signals and later reconvert them from optical to electrical, a process that adds to costs and reduces network capacity.

Super-fast speeds like the 107G bps transmission, which could send two DVDs in a second, will be necessary to help haul the huge amount of traffic expected to come from online games, music and video downloads.

By 2011, legal music downloads alone will account for 36 percent of the entire music business in Europe, Siemens said, citing market research from Forrester Research.

Siemens conducted the test together with Micram Microelectronic, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications and the Eindhoven Technical University.

The German electronics and engineering company expects to deliver the first products based on the prototype system it tested in the U.S. by the end of the decade.

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