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Scientists set new data speed mark

A team of international scientists has set a new world record after sending 26 terabits of data in one second using a single laser

The data transferred is the equivalent of 700 DVDs or the amount generated by "400 million people making a phone call".

According to British, German and Swiss scientists who achieved the feat, the technology could help meet the ever increasing speed requirement for advanced applications such as cloud computing and 3D content streaming on high-definition televisions.

The ability to transfer high amounts of data using a single beam would also mean greater energy-efficiency and lower carbon footprint. Details of the experiment are reported in the journal Nature Photonics.

The highest rate for multiple lasers was set in Japan, where scientists achieved 109 terabits per second earlier this year.

Dr Juerg Leuthold, from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, said: "Encoding 26 terabits of information per second on a single laser would until recently not only have been considered impossible, but unnecessary.

"The amount of 26 terabits per second is the amount of data that would be generated by 400 million people making a phone call. Phone calls are not generating data traffic any longer, it is animated high-resolution data traffic that dominates the internet."

Copyright Press Association 2011

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