Engineer internet

The rise of the photon, the Tb laser and the FFT

If you ever ask yourself “how much further can we go with the internet” my advice is don’t. 7 years ago when we started Timico the typical broadband connection was anything between 512k and 2Megs. Today 100Megs is being sold.

Just over a year ago we saw the first commercial terabit routers hit the market (not cheap mind with entry levels at around $90k).  Now we hear that the first 100 terabit per second laser has just been demonstrated using Fast Fourier Transform techniques.

This tells me we still have a long way to go with internet speeds.  Most thrilling of all it is the first time I have heard mention of Fast Fourier Transforms since I left Bangor university with a BSc in Electronic Engineering. I hated FFTs with a vengeance and in 28 years of work have never come across a single mention of one let along an application that needed it. I’m sure there are many – in the early 1980s I recall our lecturer telling us that 90% of the world’s computing power was dedicated to performing calculations using such beasts – probably the equivalent of a desktop PC today:) .

Anyway today we are celebrating two things – the 100Tb laser and the coming of age of the Fast Fourier Transform.  Long live progress.

PS original “nature photonics”  paper here – it’ll cost you though.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

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