A group of scientists from University College London’s Optical Networks Group have set the new world record for the fastest transmission of digital data between a single transmitter and receiver. As part of research on the capacity limits of optical transmission systems, the team was able to reach bewilderingly high speeds of 1.125 terabits per second. To put that into terms most web users can relate to, the lead researcher Dr. Robert Maher said in a press release that’s fast enough to "allow the entire HD Game of Thrones series to be downloaded within one second.”
In a paper published this week in Scientific Reports, the researchers laid out how they were able to reach this incredible achievement. The team started by drawing upon information theory and digital signal processing to construct their optical communications system. The researchers equipped it with 15 different channels, which they were then able to combine together to form a "super-channel" that transmitted the information to a super-receiver on the other end.The result was a data transmission rate nearly 50,000 times faster than the average broadband connection in the UK.
By finding a way to group multiple channels into one powerful signal, Maher and his colleagues believe they’ve opened a door for cities, countries, and one day even continents to transfer large amounts of data at high speeds. But the dream of achieving these rates over long distances may still be a far ways down the road—according to Gizmodo, for this study, scientists had the advantage of connecting their transmitter directly to the receiver. Their next step will be to link them using thousands of kilometers of optical fibers.