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.
Artificially created metamaterials are already appearing in niche applications like electronics, communications, and defense, says a new report from Lux Research. How quickly they become mainstream depends on cost-effective manufacturing methods, which will include additive manufacturing.
Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are hoping to create the first liquid hard drive with liquid nanoparticles that can store 1TB per teaspoon. They aren't the first to find potential data stores, as Harvard researchers have stored 700 TB inside a gram of DNA.
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