Facebook demos laser-based communication systems

The company has ingeniously used materials which were not designed for laser based internet access and has achieved speeds of upto 2Gbps. Dedicated hardware designed for this purpose could bump this up by 5 times.

If you ever wondered how high speed internet access can be achieved through lasers, checkout Facebook’s efforts in that direction.

In fact, the company has just published a research paper explaining how laser technology can deliver speeds upto 2Gbps to even remote places. The trick supposedly is to use fluorescent optical fibers to collect the light instead of relying on traditional optics. As the fibers don’t give out the same colour of the light that they absorb, you can point a brighter light at them and get extremely fast turnarounds, as much as 2 nanoseconds.

Once you combine this with multi-stream data encoding, an ample bandwidth can be gained that is comparable with wired networks or even WiFi.

The technology is closer to reality than you may realise. In fact, Facebook has said it is “investigating the feasibility” of shipping laser-based internet hardware for this technology.

What is incredible is that Facebook has managed this feat using materials that are readily available in the market today, material that weren’t designed for this purpose.

Once organisations can create dedicated hardware for this very purpose, an infrared-based system can easily hit speeds of up to 10Gbps.

Hopefully, Facebook’s findings find wider acceptance in industry circles.

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