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Scientists from the United States set a record for the speed of data transmission over the submarine cable without updating the cable itself

Researchers have exceeded the speed limit set by engineers by 20%.

MAREA cable laid across the ocean floor in 2017 aboard the ship Microsoft Photo

Scientists from the Infinera group transmitted data at a speed of 26 terabits per second over a distance of more than 6 thousand kilometers using a MAREA fiber optic cable. They did not have to lay new underwater wires – scientists have improved the efficiency of information transfer.

On the left is the usual way of transmitting data over fiber; on the right is the method used by the scientists of Infinera. Image Infinera

For their experiment, scientists used the method of transmitting light signals by 16QAM modulation and reached a speed of 26.2 terabits per second. This is 20% faster than MAREA cable engineers anticipated and nearly three times faster than current signals generated for the cable.

The researchers explained that with this record they approached the Shannon limit – the maximum theoretical limit on the speed of transmission of such information. “Each new victory is given more and more difficult,” – said one of the scientists.

During the experiment, already laid cable was used. The method of researchers will improve the network without laying new cables, the construction of which can cost millions of dollars.

MAREA is the fastest existing transatlantic cable developed by Facebook and Microsoft. It was put into operation in 2018, it connects the USA and Spain, where new data centers are often located.

As noted by researchers, in recent years, the need for submarine fiber optic cables has increased dramatically due to cloud computing. For example, when making long-distance calls or using a “cloud” with 99%, an underwater fiber is activated.

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