This article has opened my eyes to a future where a single fibre cable can have multiple cores.
The future of Ethernet is yet to be determined as the IEEE community fights over whose technology patents will be used so that revenue from FRAND licensing can justify their own positions. So while we wait for vested interest to line their pockets, we know that that 25GBE lanes and 50GBE lanes are likely.
We already use 4 x 10GBE lanes for 40GBE Ethernet and 4 x 25GBE lanes for 100GE. Therefore the future of Ethernet is likely be 4 x 50GBE (200GBE).
But if we could have a fibre optic cable with 16 cores in a single fibre then the option for 8 x 50GbE/400GBE becomes a possibility.
Distance is great:
Using the above design guideline as a basis, Fujikura fabricated an 8.75 km long optical fiber, and NTT evaluated its optical property. The optical attenuation at 1550 nm is less than 0.24 dB/km for all 114 channels, and to the best of our knowledge this is the lowest reported value for multi-core fiber using a 6-mode core.
Just How Fast:
When using QAM signalling things get kind of crazy:
To prove the applicability of the fabricated optical fiber to ultra-large capacity transmission, NTT evaluated the transmission quality using the latest QAM digital coherent transmission technology and an optical-fiber-type Fan-In/Fan-Out device. The Fan-In/Fan-Out device enabled 114 individual multiplexed/de-multiplexed optical signals to be launched into the fabricated optical fiber. We confirmed that we obtained a satisfactory transmission quality with a Q-value exceeding 5.7 dB, which corresponds to the lower transmission limit, for all 114 channels.
We aim to launch a practical application of this optical fiber in the 2020s. To meet the increasing data communication demand in a sustainable way, we will continue to contribute to the realization of an optical infrastructure for the future.