Keysight, Nokia Bell Labs Achieve Record Symbol Rate of 260 GBaud Transmission


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Keysight Technologies, Inc., a leading technology company that delivers advanced design and validation solutions to help accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, and Nokia Bell Labs have successfully tested a 260 GBaud ultra-high-speed optical signal transmission over 100 km of standard single-mode fiber (SSMF) at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) 2022 in Basel, Switzerland, exceeding the previous record of 220 GBaud.

Artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and internet of things (IoT) applications are driving the demand for more bandwidth. Leveraging high symbol rate systems increases the aggregate per-wavelength information rate to reduce the cost-per-bit in optical systems. A key trend in the telecom industry is the transition to higher symbol rates through integrated optics which reduces the component count, cost and power consumption.

With the mutual goal of improving network performance and efficiency, Nokia Bell Labs and Keysight combined expertise with other research partners to create the record-breaking demonstration of 260 GBaud Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP-QPSK) coherent transmission over 100 km single mode Fiber.

Keysight Technologies Solution

The demonstration consisted of Keysight's new 260 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) (M8199B), which delivers more than 75 GHz bandwidth and a thin-film lithium niobate I/Q modulator with 110 GHz bandwidth. This enables R&D of transmission systems operated with symbol rates up to 260 GBaud and achieving net bitrates greater than 2 Tbit/s in coherent optical communications.

“Keysight is honored to work with Nokia Bell Labs on achieving 260 GBaud,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, vice president of Network and Data Center Solutions at Keysight. “The continued proliferation of AI requires new levels of server and network performance that must scale computing resources within reasonable energy bounds. Higher data rates and new modulation formats will be among the enabling technologies for the industry.”

“We achieved this outstanding record of maximum symbol rate of 260 GBaud by leveraging enabling technologies and the expertise of several partners,” said Haïk Mardoyan, Senior Research Scientist, Nokia Bell Labs. “This result is a first milestone to scale long haul data transport systems beyond 2 Tbit/s per wavelength. Improving the energy efficiency of transponders is a permanent challenge for the industry.”

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