Fujtisu has announced a new breakthrough in optical communications technology: a directly-modulated laser capable of transmitting data of 40Gb/s without the need for active cooling.
The new laser technology, which relies upon a new structure capable of operating at less than half the power consumption of existing 40Gb/s laser technologies while hitting higher operating temperatures, means that high-speed data communications hardware will now be able to dispense with the need for an expensive thermoelectric controller to maintain a safe temperature.
Presented at the Optical Fibre Communication Conference, Fujitsu hopes that its new laser technology will allow companies to migrate from 10Gb/s networking technologies to 40Gb/s without the need to plan for high power draws and increased heat output - and without having to spend an absolute fortune.
The laser, which is constructed of a multiple quantum-well structure made from aluminium-gallium-indium-arsenide with a semi-insulating buried heterostructure for the optical waveguide, has hit a stable 40Gb/s in the 1.3µm wavelength without the need for the thermoelectric controller used in traditional high-speed optical networking systems - and without leaving its operating temperature range of 25°C to 70°C.
Sadly, the company isn't quite ready to release the technology into the wild. A spokesperson claims that Fujitsu is "proceeding with R&D targeting practical use," but that there are no immediate plans for commercialisation.
With demand for data increasing in all areas - with home broadband users looking to download games and stream high definition video, and increasing volumes of 3G smartphones and tablets putting strains on the current mobile infrastructure - technologies such as this are going to be critical for ensuring that the Internet can continue to grow.