Fiber transmission could be more efficient, go farther, carry more traffic and be cheaper to implement if the work of scientists in Sweden and Estonia is successful.\nIn a recent demonstration, researchers\u00a0at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, used new, ultra-low-noise amplifiers to increase the normal fiber-optic transmission link range six-fold.\nAnd in a separate experiment, researchers at\u00a0DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark used a unique frequency comb to push more than the total of all internet traffic down one solitary fiber link.\n\nFiber transmission limits\nSignal noise and distortion have always been behind the limits to traditional (and pretty inefficient) fiber transmission. They\u2019re the main reason data-send distance and capacity are restricted using the technology. Experts believe, however, that if the noise that\u2019s found in the amplifiers used for gaining distance could be cleaned up and the signal distortion inherent in the fiber itself could be eliminated, fiber could become more efficient and less costly to implement.\nPlus, if fiber could carry more traffic in single strands, it would be cheaper to power, and it would also keep up with rapidly escalating future internet growth.\nThose two areas of improvement are where many scientists are concentrating their fiber development efforts.\nThe researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Tallinn University of Technology said they can now send data 4,000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles) \u2014 or roughly the air-travel distance from Los Angeles to New York.\nThe team is using special, phase-sensitive amplifiers that handle both the noise and the distortion. The special amplifier functions using multiple pulses of different, very bright, compressed colors, polarized and then formatted into time division multiplexing, Chris Lee of Ars Technica explains in coverage of the research.\n\u201cThe amplifiers can provide a very significant reach improvement over conventional approaches,\u201d Chalmers University says in its news release.\nIncreasing the amount of data fiber can carry\nIn more progress, another group has been concentrating on increasing the amount of data the fiber can carry. That multi-scientist team, from DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark, said it can show that it can pump 661 terabits per second down a piece of fiber. That\u2019s \u201cequivalent to more than the total Internet traffic today,\u201d the publication Nature explains in an abstract on its website.\nWorry over the amount of data being generated globally, and how to carry it, is behind the work.\n\u201cThe Internet today transmits hundreds of terabits per second, consumes nine percent of all electricity worldwide and grows by 20 percent to 30 percent per year,\u201d according to the article in Nature.\nMultiple, parallel links handle the traffic now, but they\u2019re not energy efficient. That\u2019s primarily because each side-by-side stream needs its own power. The researchers think that if they can stuff all the traffic into one pipe, they would solve the electricity issue \u2014 you wouldn\u2019t need so much power-hungry equipment.\nThey DTU researchers are using a frequency comb made up of non-resonant aluminium-gallium-arsenide-on-insulator nanowaveguide. They seed the chip with 10 gigahertz-per-picosecond pulses.\nFrequency combs measure and detect disparate frequencies and map them. In this case: light. The tools are getting common, and might even become used in RF-based Wi-Fi, too, say researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.\nIn this case, though, the optical, fiber-based frequency comb produced \u201cunprecedented high data-rate transmission,\u201d the Nature article says. The Danes used single-mode 30-core fiber for the six-mile experiment.\nIt\u2019s \u201crobust to temperature changes, is energy efficient and facilitates future integration with on-chip lasers or amplifier.\u201d Importantly, too, the technique reduces bulk for the transmission equipment \u2014 less data center or telco space will ultimately be needed.