New chips accelerate data transmission

New chips accelerate data transmission

[Photo caption] Dr Chu Sai-tak works on the design and fabrication of the chips which contribute to the fastest internet speed in the world.

Article Source
CityU Research News (6 Jul 2020)

Read more on Nature Communications
Ultra-dense optical data transmission over standard fibre with a single chip source

Read more on CityU Research Stories
New chips developed by CityU physicist help break spectral efficiency record for optical data transmission

Dr. CHU Sai Tak

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A physicist from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has played a pivotal role in advancing data transmission speed on the internet to make it the fastest in the world.

Such speed will facilitate downloading 1,000 high-definition movies in less than a second, according to the international team that undertook the research.

This exciting discovery helps to address the world’s increasing demand for faster internet connectivity, especially after the global outbreak of Covid-19, which has led to more people working at home and using technology for socialising and entertainment.

At the core of this technological advance is a novel chip developed by Dr Chu Sai-tak, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at CityU. An expert in integrated photonic devices and with over 30 years’ research experience, Dr Chu works on the chip’s design and fabrication with Professor Brent E. Little of the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr Chu’s research on chips has contributed to twelve high-impact papers published in the past nine years in prestigious journals such as Nature and Science.

The team’s accomplishments were recently published in Nature Communications under the title “Ultra-dense optical data transmission over standard fibre with a single chip source”. The team comprises researchers from Australia, Canada, mainland China and Hong Kong.

This research innovation demonstrates the capacity of micro-combs, which are optical frequency responses based on micro-ring resonators (MRRs), to perform ultra-high optical data transmission. MRRs are single, compact integrated chips that can supply all wavelengths and replace many parallel lasers.

The team has achieved an outstanding rate of 44.2 terabits per second (Tb/s) in a field trial led by Professor Dave Moss of Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, with a record breaking spectral efficiency of 10.4 bits per second per hertz (b/s/Hz), which is 3.7 times higher than existing records.

For this extraordinary transmission capacity, they have deployed a powerful class of micro-comb named soliton crystals.

“Soliton crystals within the micro-ring resonators are high in intrinsic stability and easy to generate, and thus are highly suitable for demanding applications such as ultra-dense optical coherent communication,” said Dr Chu.

Micro-combs enable breakthroughs in other fields such as microwave photonics, quantum sources and metrology.

The team will further explore scaling down the overall bandwidth by using multicore fibre as well as minimising the optical components by integrating the chips with modulators, for example.


Media coverage

  1. Australia 'records fastest internet speed ever' [BBC News] 2020-05-22 Technology
  2. 'Fastest ever' internet speed capable of downloading 1,000 HD movies in under a second is recorded in Australia - and it is four million times faster than the country's average connection [Daily Mail] 2020-05-22 Science & Tech
  3. Internet traffic is growing 25% each year. We created a fingernail-sized chip that can help the NBN keep up [The Conversation] 2020-05-22 Science & Technology
  4. World's fastest internet speed from a single optical chip [Science Daily] 2020-05-22 Science News
  5. Un record de débit Internet atteint par des scientifiques australiens [Radio-Canada] 2020-05-23 Techno
  6. 云爾錄 :城大研超快芯片 1秒下載千套戲  [Hong Kong Economic Journal] 2020-07-06 A16 獨眼香江 獨眼香江 紀曉風
  7. 城大研高速晶片傳輸速度全球最快  [Sing Tao Daily] 2020-07-06 F01 教育
  8. 城大研芯片 少於1秒下載千部高清電影  [Hong Kong Economic Times] 2020-07-06 A18 港聞
  9. 城大研新型芯片 一秒內下載千套戲  [Oriental Daily News] 2020-07-06 A13 港聞
  10. 1秒下載千套高清電影 城大研新芯片 網速升至史上最快  [Sky Post] 2020-07-06 P08 港聞
  11. 城大研新型芯片 1 秒下載千部電影  [Hong Kong Commercial Daily] 2020-07-06 A09 香港新聞
  12. 城大新芯片1 秒下載千部高清戲  [Lion Rock Daily] 2020-07-06 P07 港聞
  13. 城大研究高速晶片 傳輸速度全球最快 [BASTILLE POST] 2020-07-06
  14. 城大研高速晶片 傳輸速度全球最快 [Headline Daily online] 2020-07-06
  15. 1秒下載千套高清電影 城大研新芯片 網速升至史上最快 [HKET online] 2020-07-06
  16. CityU scholars develops new data chips [OpenGov Asia] 2020-07-08 Digital Transformation

14 July 2020  #research