How fast is fast? The question may get different answers from different people but a research group at the Technical University of Denmark has created a record which really does redefine “fast.” The group was able to achieve speeds of up to 43 terabits per second on a single optical fiber with only one laser transmitter.

The Technical University of Denmark or DTU was the first to cross the one terabit mark back in 2009. 43Tbps is a big step up as it translates into a transfer rate of roughly 5.4 terabytes per second.

Back in 2011 the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology set its own record as it was able to achieve speeds of up to 26 terabits per second. Even though DTU set records on its own in both 2009 and 2011 with its latest effort it finally steps out of Karlsruhe’s shadow.

The reason why DTU’s new record is intriguing to say the least is because the researchers have been able to do this with one laser and over a single optical fiber. There have been countless network demonstrations of hundreds of terabits using multiple lasers over as many fibers but in reality these demonstrations don’t serve any purpose as commercial fiber optic networks are usually single-laser and single-fiber.

This means that DTU’s achievement might make it in the real world in a few years’ time. Imagine being able to stream or download content over this network, it would certainly please the geek in all of us.

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