When you talk to someone on the phone typically someone makes a statement or asks a question then the other party responds. We take turns. You talk then I talk, then you talk then I talk – back and forth. That is also how many internet services and wireless communications work as well — they either take turns sending then receiving data (time division duplex or TDD) or will use separate frequencies for transmitting and receiving (frequency division duplex or FDD).
Our demand for data continues to grow and so to does the amount of data fiber optic networks can transmit. Phys.org reports on research completed by NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories in Japan where they were able to fit 12 individual cores inside a standard diameter for fiber optics. Since the amount of data we can pack into current single-core networks is approaching maximum – meaning more fiber optic lines need to be laid to transmit the same amount of information – research into optical wires that contain multiple single cores is picking up. While this is not yet ready to be deployed out in the field it does bring such upgrades a step closer by producing a wire which experiences less distortion than similar multi-core wires. They are now looking to continue scaling up as well as find solutions to make multi-core fibers require less complex signal processing.