To improve network throughput, scrap the ones-and-zeros system

Abandoning a signal’s traditional binary ones and zeroes will improve throughput in fiber, a Dutch PhD researcher says. By increasing the number of bit states from the traditional two — the one and zero — to four or eight, adding more light colors, and changing clock rates for each wavelength, throughput will be significantly increased, he claims.

“A higher number of levels implies more information per symbol, so four levels contain two bits of information, and eight levels contain three bits,” says Robbert van der Linden in an article on the Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Electrical Engineering website.

Therefore, you get up to three times the information in the same number of symbols, he says. The downside being it’s harder to decode, but it is doable, he claims.

Van der Linden, who also works part-time at fiber equipment supplier Genexis, says there are a number of other steps, too, that can improve passive optical networks (PONs) used often in fiber-to-the-home networks.

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