Will You Ever Have a Petabyte to Move?

Petabit Fiber

Image: Optics.org

The short answer is no. The longer answer is probably…no.

We ask, though, because NEC and Corning researchers have developed new multi-core fibers capable of moving over a petabyte of data in a second. We had to read this paragraph a few times to get it:

Researchers from the NEC Labs in Princeton, NJ, USA, and from Corning’s Sullivan Park Research Center in Corning, NY, successfully demonstrated ultra-high speed transmission with a capacity of 1.05 petabit/s (1015 bits per second) over novel multi-core fiber that contains 12 single-mode and two few-mode cores by employing the advanced space division multiplexing scheme and optical multiple-input multiple-output signal processing technique.

In layman’s terms, ladies and gentlemen, this is fast and it’s a ton of data.

So we of course had to find out just how much data we’re talking about when we start using words like “petabyte” and “quadrillion”, which is the aforementioned 10 to the 15th power. And what do you know, we found it via this handy infographic from Mozy:

Petabyte Infographic


Read that again. A petabyte is thirteen years worth of HD video, and we’re now capable of transferring it from point A to point B in a second. Snap your fingers, here’s over a decade’s worth of HD video. You’re welcome.

Granted, this isn’t really for everyday consumption. We have some data laying around the office here at Ink Technologies but we’re quite certain it would take us a solid century to acquire even remotely close to a petabyte’s worth of it. And even then, we can’t really imagine having to transmit it all to somewhere else in a second.

We’ll leave you with this question though, keeping in mind now that 20 petabytes is equivalent to the entirety of written works, from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages: Have we reached the end of data transmission research? Do we need to be able to move a Yottabyte of data?

That’s real. Google it.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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