Researchers from the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics and Photonics and the University of California, Los Angeles, have developed new technology to make data transfer over optical fiber communication faster and more efficient. They have created a novel class of optical modulators, which act like a light switch to control data-carrying light in an optical communication system. Optical fiber communication is crucial for internet connectivity and data transmission. However, signal distortion over long distances and signal interference are limitations that affect the accuracy and reliability of data transmission. The researchers have invented a unique class of optical modulators that address both limitations by using phase diversity and differential operations. Their advanced “light switch” compares the amount and timing of data moving through the system to ensure accurate and efficient transmission. The modulators are demonstrated on thin-film lithium niobate, which is a compact platform for optical communication. This breakthrough in optical modulator architecture opens up new possibilities for faster and more efficient data communication and acquisition.
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