Monash University researchers develop new optical fibre technology

Homegrown technology to boost speeds to more than 100Gps over new and existing optical fibre

Researchers at Monash University have developed new optical fibre technology that promises to increase broadband network capacity and improve download times in Australia and around the world.

The technology known as optical Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (oOFDM), developed by Professors Arthur Lowery and Dr. Jean Armstrong applies ADSL principles to optical fibre cables to increase data capacity.

Its development has led to a new method of transmitting data over optical links at a higher speed, Professors Lowery said.

“oOFDM offers a means of dramatically increasing long-haul capacity from the current transmission rate of 10 Gigabits per second (Gps) per wave to more than 100Gps per wave over new and existing optical fibre,” he said.

“The technology allows the approach to Shannon’s limit for optical communication because the spectrum is very well controlled allowing you to pack many channels close together.”

Professor Lowery explained that with more people accessing broadband Internet and using it for data-heavy applications, his research looked to provide a solution to resolve existing slow speeds of optical fibre communication.

The research has not only benefited the students who work on the project in gaining practical experience solving industry problems, but also help to build closer ties between academia and the ICT industry.

“The research shows that Monash University is working with the industry,” Professor Lowery said. “We are trying to be more like the American model with academics moving in and out of industry so it allow for balance between university research and practical outcomes.”

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