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The World's Fastest Network Lets You Download a Movie In .2 Milliseconds

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Danish researchers just created the Usain Bolt of networks. A team from the Technical University of Denmark used a single multi-core optical fiber to transfer 43 terabits per second, making it the world's fastest fiber network. I'd say it makes Google Fiber look like 1996 AOL dial-up from a decrepit rural phone line, but that comparison is too kind to Google Fiber.

How fast is 43 terabits per second? As Extreme Tech pointed out, that means you can download a 1 gigabyte movie in .2 milliseconds. The average blink of an eye lasts between 100 and 400 milliseconds. You could download thousands of movies in the blink of an eye. Even the eye of a particularly fast blinker!


It's not clear exactly how the team pushed so much in so short a time; perhaps they used a protocol similar to Flexigrid, a way to speed up network connections over fiber developed earlier this year. Flexigrid does 1.4 terabits per second, which is extremely fast compared to what's available commercially but the speed of a fat drunk turtle compared to the DTU team's 43 terabit miracle, so maybe they've developed a completely different and even more advanced protocol.


The DTU team didn't set the record by rigging up some impossible-to-implement system. Since they used a single fiber from Japanese telecom company NTT, their technique is actually commercially viable. So that's awesome: This research could (and should!) be used to set up way faster network connections. [Extreme Tech]

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