Scientists have developed what they claim is a small scratch on a piece of glass, which could make the internet nearly 100 times faster and give users unlimited, error-free access anywhere in the world.
This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there. Scientists are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more.
The scratched glass developed is actually a Photonic Integrated Circuit. This circuit uses the ‘scratch’ as a guide or a switching path for information — kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another — except this switch takes only one picosecond to change tracks.
This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times. Photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity, claims scientists.
Though the initial demonstration has shown that it is possible to achieve speeds 60 times faster than many current networks, with further development, the process is likely to produce even faster results, according to the researchers.
Currently electronics is used for switching and that has been OK but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there’s demand for instant web gratification. Photonic technology delivers what’s needed and, importantly, what is wanted, it is claimed.
The University of Sydney has developed the scratch in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and financial support from Australian Research Council.
Researchers had reported some time back that the internet could soon be made obsolete by “the grid”. The lightning-fast replacement will be capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. It will have speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection.
The latest spinoff from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players, and offer highdefinition video telephony for the price of a local call.