The achievement using soliton crystals is detailed in a study published in Nature Communications, led by Prof David J. Moss at Swinburne University of Technology and honorary professor at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS)
"This is one of the most efficient transmission systems implemented in a standard telecom network, given the record amount of information that can be encoded and propagated in an optical fibre with minimum loss of data," says Professor Roberto Morandotti of the INRS and co-author of the study and long-term collaborator of Prof Moss.
Telecommunication networks use many different frequencies, or colours, to transfer as much information as possible. However, a separate laser is typically used for every colour, which adds complexity and increases costs.
"Here, we decided to use a micro-comb to replace the multiple lasers. Like a hair comb, we can generate a set of frequencies which are equally distant, and the phase and amplitude of which can be easily and precisely controlled," explains Morandotti. The ability to supply all wavelengths with a single, compact integrated chip, replacing many parallel lasers, offers the greatest benefit, in terms of performance, scalability and power consumption.