The French device is one component of a broader and more sophisticated flexible optical network that Europe is developing through IDEALIST consortium
Assembled by Bell Labs in France, the BVT prototype converts electronic signals into optical signals, but with a bandwidth changing depending on the demand.
It works automatically with no interruption in service, in English “hitless”, and it will help meeting the current demand for network and data traffic, being able to transmit data through optical networks by automatically changing the bit stream.
How it works
Traditional BVTs work by changing the size of the optical signal, by converting it from digital to analog. The new BVT created by Nokia Bell Labs, partner of IDEALIST EU project, changes the speed of the signal, also known as modulation rate or Baud rate, i.e. the number of transmitted signals per second, with each event able to encode various fragments of information. Focusing the research on the speed of data transmission allows to simplify its implementation with electronics, while also reducing the costs at the same time.
The prototype is connected to a commutator of the optical network available on the market, which aggregates many different signals (i.e. video and audio) by sending them through the transmitter. It runs at data rates varying from 10 to 107 Gigabits per second. And today we are witnessing a growth of traffic data by about 35% due to the proliferation of broadband applications, which put pressure on fiber optic networks.