How many bits of data can be crammed onto a single optical fiber? About 150 terabits per second per fiber, according to Partha P. Mitra, a physicist and researcher at Lucent Technologies' Bell Laboratories. "Currently, the maximum amount of data we send is around two terabits per second," says Mitra. He and researcher Jason Stark conducted experiments and report that, at a certain point, increasing signal capacity will not increase information transmission capacity. "We found that instead of output rising as the signal increases, the capacity peaks," says Mitra. "Beyond that, capacity doesn't increase proportionally to signal strength," he notes. Mitra adds that although there is room to grow our signal capacity, actually transmitting data at that rate will require new components and new de-signs for telecommunication equipment. For more information, call 908-582-2446.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.