Powerful Micro-Combs Chips Could Replace the Existing Internet Infrastructure


Engineers successfully tested a micro-comb chip with download speeds of 44.2 Tb/s. The tiny device could replace one day the existing Internet infrastructure. 

The micro-comb chips aren’t exactly new, having been developed almost a decade ago. Here is what you need to know. 

The Lightweight Technology Has Recently Been Put to the Test

Engineers from RMIT in Australia, the Monash University, and the Swinburne University claim the micro-comb chip has a huge advantage. It can make the most of the existing infrastructure to meet the demands we can expect in the following years. 

There’s a constraining matter that actual systems will struggle in the years to come. Upgrading highways of old cables to keep up with people’s needs is a time-demanding and expensive process that no doubt will be left up to the next generations to solve it. But, some components can be upgraded to help enhance the flow of traffic. 

One of those is how we provide the frequencies of light that transport the bits and bytes down the cables into our smart devices and computers. Lasers shining at various frequencies, for instance, can produce a lot of “channels” to cram data into the tiny refracting tubes. We can shine as many as 80 channels into the network for all our data needs, depending on the way the light is ranged.

The innovative micro-comb chip could be established to replace actual techniques for developing all of those channels. It would exchange 80 separate lasers for a single crystal waveform generator that can be made to form a rainbow of light waves. 

Such a concept looked perfect on paper. But to be sure the theory was flawless, the researchers linked a prototype of the device to more than 47 miles of “dark” optic cable spread between two Melbourne university campuses. 

They discovered they could reach out to the max amount of data for each channel, proving a top speed of 44.2Tb/s from the device. Under excellent conditions and with the right system, that would theoretically let us download 1,000 movies in only one second. And most significantly, all in HD!

“This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation, and it can help the medicine, education, finance, and e-commerce industries, as well as enable us to read with our grandchildren from kilometers away,” explained engineer Bill Corcoran.

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