• Beams of laser light packed densely in fiber-optic glass wires need to be both amplified and recreated at regular intervals to send them thousands of miles. The process of converting the optical ones from light to electricity and then back again is a significant part of the cost of these networks. The process also limits how much data they can carry.
  • In its report, the group described a way to “predistort” the data that is transmitted via laser beams so that it can be deciphered easily over great distances.This is done by creating, in effect, guardrails for the light beams with a device known as a frequency comb — using very precise and evenly spaced signals — to encode the information before it is transmitted.
  • Such a network would be significantly less expensive and could carry more data. So far, the researchers have been able to increase the power of the lasers twentyfold to achieve transmissions over far greater distances.

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