Prof. Alex Wai, PolyU Vice President (Research Development) and Chair Professor of Optical Communications, introduced the latest optical communications technology developed by PolyU research team. This technological breakthrough has broken the world record of fastest optical communications for data centres.
The interaction of light with a single fibre molecule is a known theory in optics. However, an optical fibre contains billions of randomly placed molecules and the overall interaction effect between the light signal and the fibre is unpredictable. Therefore, PolyU research team found that the signal distortion is also random. With this breakthrough, around 10,000 people can simultaneously stream 4K video at less cost, compared to only 400 people under the currently available speed. In future, increased transmission speeds will begin a new era for Big Data and IoT applications.
This breakthrough made by PolyU research team has set a new world record for the fastest optical communications for data centres, reaching 240 Gbit/s over 2 km i.e., 24 times the existing speed available in the market. With the cost per unit of data transmission reduced to just one-fourth of the existing cost, the technology is suitable for commercial use, opening up new forms of entertainment such as immersive videos, augmented reality and virtual reality.
PolyU values knowledge creation and scientific breakthroughs by our research team. Through the concerted effort of its theme-based research centres and units, PolyU made a number of significant breakthrough researches during the year that contributed to the advancement of technology.
The PolyU-Huawei Joint Lab for Optical Interconnection Network and Advanced Computing System was established to combine PolyU's strength in applying technological innovation and Huawei's leadership in the industry with an objective to develop high-capacity optical communication systems. Through the Joint Lab, PolyU and Huawei will work on researches relating to high-capacity optical communication systems including long-haul and short-reach data center transmission systems, computer networks and systems, and big data computing.
The PolyU-Huawei Joint Lab aims to pioneer the research in the field of optical communication systems and advanced computing systems by leveraging synergy of the industry and the university. It targets at bolstering significantly the capacity of internet systems through technological breakthroughs, as well as developing system infrastructure and algorithmic solutions for computing-driven innovation.
PolyU's collaboration with Huawei has commenced since 2007. Their joint efforts have contributed to the establishment of the first 100Gbit/s per wavelength optical communication system in China. Research experts from different PolyU academic and research units, including Department of Electronic and Information Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Computing, Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Applied Mathematics and Department of Applied Physics, are engaged in the numerous collaborative projects between PolyU and Huawei. The research areas include but are not limited to communication, big data, crowdsourcing platforms, mobile networks, wearable devices, algorithms as well as materials. It is hoped that with the establishment of the Joint Lab, the scope of collaboration could be further extended in both breadth and depth.
Through close collaboration, PolyU and Huawei will be able to further develop high-impact translational research and next-generation technological breakthrough in the telecommunications and advanced computing industry.